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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back to School Art Games

New room set up for the 2016-2017 school year
We have just wrapped up our 1st full week back at school and I couldn't be more proud of my art students. This is my third year teaching my kids and they have all grown so much in their art education. I was amazed how much they had remembered from past lessons and even more impressed how willing they were to take risks. I wanted our first art classes to be fun and exciting yet also cover the important art room expectations.

Before school began I was researching new ideas to kick off the year and I read an article form the Art of Education site about classroom management. The author, Melissa Purtee, shared a game called "What's in the bag?" I loved how this game is designed to teach classroom behaviors such as teamwork, creative problem solving, and being on task. I adapted it for my teaching setting by requiring each class to disassemble their work at the end of class. This adaption, which was at first a means to have enough supplies for the 480+ kids I teach, but then became a valuable lesson in letting things go. It was really hard for some kids to take their work apart but allowed them to practice coping with this type of process.

5th grade artists creating a super hero costume prompted in the "What's in the Bag" game

Create a playground prompt by 2nd grade artists

Make a monster that can move prompt by 4th grade artists

Become a Rock band prompt, check out that xylophone!

Another game I played was a drawing game I read from Mona Brooks book called, "Drawing with Children". I read commands centered on the 5 basic elements of shape and my students responded by painting the command. I gave them 4 neon color paints, which they loved, to play the game. The results were beautiful. Even though they all had the same commands, each work was authentic in the response. It was a great game in reviewing drawing techniques and practice classroom expectations.


3rd grade work

4th grade work

I love how they look placed together.



I would say these games were successful in achieving my goals of teaching classroom expectations and creating an engaged, lively, and safe space.

Thanks for stopping by!