Although I would not describe myself as a Visual Arts expert by any means, this past practicum block allowed me to become more confident in my abilities to teach Art to a group of students. My Associate Teacher and I decided that it would be fun to integrate Visual Arts with the 4 elements poetry that the kids were working on, and gave me complete creative freedom with my lessons. Essentially, I could lead any Art activity that I wanted to with the class, so long as each student’s work was depicting one of the 4 elements. As a whole, this teaching experience was incredibly rewarding– I watched in awe as the class became engrossed in their projects, and created artwork of a quality far beyond any expectations that I had for them. It was awesome, and I am so happy that I was given this opportunity during my placement. Here are a few of the ideas that I found worked especially well with the Grade 6s and 7s:
Ripped Paper: While this option was not as popular as I thought it would be, the kids were definitely intrigued by it. Ripped Paper art can be used with any age level, and it simply involves creating a rough sketch, and filling in the outline with small pieces of ripped up construction or tissue paper.
Pointillism: This was by far the class’s favourite! Pointillism is a style of painting invented by French Impressionist painter, Georges Seurat. It involves creating images using nothing but tiny dots, which I had my students do through a combination of Q-tips and acrylic paint.
Pastel Silhouette Art: This one was another big hit, and it was the first Art activity that I presented to my students. Each one was given the freedom to create an abstract background using various colours of pastels, and later cut a silhouette out of black construction paper to glue over top, giving the piece a shadow-like effect.
Graffiti Art: As a final Art project, I asked the class to depict one of the 4 elements using graffiti-style artwork in the medium of their choice. Some used pastels to create the desired effect, some used paint, and all of the students came up with something unique. Although many of them were slightly disappointed that the school did not have access to spray paint in order to create authentic graffiti, many of my placement students enjoyed this Art activity, and one even called it “cool,” thus giving me a large boost to my ego as a student teacher.