Art Projects How To: There are many variables in this equation. One, TIME… if I have 3 hours, multiple sessions, or 30min to try to share art knowledge. It absolutely changes things. Two, AGE. If you think Pre-school or Kindergarten teachers have it “easy” I challenge you to volunteer for 8 hours in one of these classrooms. These teachers are masters. Masters of the human psyche, motivation, and they can ride the wave of the young person with more ease than 99% of the population. Magical child whisperers. Absolutely. Knowing age helps with attention span. I was once told to take a child’s age and that is the number of minutes you have for them to be able to pay attention. A good rule of thumb to think about, they’re not bad kids, they are simply developing. Additional knowledge knowing age helps with… Dexterity. Language Skills. Worldly Knowledge. Ability to sit still… among so many other important skills. Three, NUMBER OF STUDENTS. This is huge. Smaller classes are ideal for one on one and take-away knowledge. The larger is more of a constant attempt to maintain a state of organized chaos while checking for knowledge. Age is a large factor here. Ideally- I find a concept for them to understand, connect it to history and/or their lives, find a way for them to work on said skill, and they come away with a beautiful piece of artwork that they are proud of. Create. Respond. Connect. Some days it works, some days…it’s a learning experience to say the least. Goal for tomorrow: Mammal art camp + visual art lesson Time, 30min Age, Preschool (under 5) Project: Clay Mammals Time 30 min Number 10-11 What is a mammal? What visual traits (what can you see for kids-speak) that make it a mammal? Colors? Textures? Ask and they always have brilliant answers. Media-Air-dry clay How do we work with clay? Is it like play-dough (no, it dries; and we need to create deliberately with good craftsmanship). Yes, all terms need to be put into kid-speak. My rule, use the real word, get kids to repeat it, and then take a second to go into what it actually means. Check for knowledge with questions throughout lesson. Clay demonstration (slip and score). Demo. Check for knowledge, try to simplify (I use tick tack toe), check for knowledge again. Now break it down. One ball of clay, one step at a time. Step by step or they’ll lose interest or forget (class will go nuts and you’ll look at the clock in hopes that the 30min is over). Trust me. Slow. It. Down. Show, tell, check and then…only when you’re 99% done, allow them to think outside the box and make it their own. You’ll get some crazy things, but it’s amazing. Uninhibited creativity, even if the end product is “failed” is my ultimate goal. Art on!