“Art Works” is a monthly column that provides bits of know-how and reminders of ways to assure the success of your art program. In the coming year, look for advice and suggestions related to learning about, responding to and making art, integrating art into the curriculum, displaying student work, reaching out to the community, and more.–B.H. . when the Imagination soars! “ hat shall I draw? I don’t know what to draw!” Have you heard this soulful cr y from your elementar y art students? There’s good news: Children can be motivated to transform their thoughts, feelings and perceptions into visual expressions for drawing and painting. A variety of means are available to help them produce diverse and creative artworks. Here are a few challenging ideas to get your class whizzing along. CHANGING THE FORMAT By changing the size or shape of the paper, the child’s thinking is redirected from by Barbara Herberholz W holding hands in a circle game, riding a Ferris wheel, birds in a birdbath, looking into a fishbowl, an electric train, or ice skating on the pond. FANTASY Encourage children to be curious and imagine, going beyond the daily ritual of reality. They are free to be fanciful, absurd, silly and witty. Think of pretend and makebelieve situations. Examples: the goofy animal I would like to have in my yard; magic flowers; inside of a clock or television set; an elephant who swallowed a bouquet of flowers; quilted turtles; a girl wearing a hat full of birds; a dizzy world; trees that chase squirrels; the the picture and make a stor y about it. Examples: I made a snowman; I ran into a tree on my new bike; Dad and I saw a zebra at the zoo; my brother and I sat in a boat and caught a fish; I learned to swim and jumped off the diving board; or I blew out the candles on my birthday cake. FANCIFUL CHARACTERS AND MAKEBELIEVE ANIMALS Make a list of words Encourage your students to be curious and to imagine . going beyond the daily ritual of reality. the usual 12" x 18" or 9" x 12" paper. Cut these pieces in half vertically to create a 6" x 18" or a 4.5" x 12" drawing surface, thus creating a long and narrow, or tall and narrow, format. Ideas for the long and narrow paper: a family of tightrope walkers, a parade of elephants, cars in a long tunnel, a game of tug-of-war, dressed-up alligators, a crazy caterpillar, a street with a row of houses, or a whole train from engine to caboose. Ideas for the tall and narrow paper: bears climbing a ladder, a tree house, a tall building, a giraffe eating leaves on a tree, the interior of a rocket ship, a weird alien from outer space, or what I look like inside. A round piece of paper offers possibilities for encouraging flexible and fluent thinking. Examples: a carpet of flowers, being on a merr y-go-round, 12 tooth fair y; a snicklegoose; or riding on the back of a hummingbird. IF I WERE . Students are encouraged to identify with people and things, thus helping them project their thoughts, feelings and perceptions into another person or object. Social awareness is sparked. Examples: If I were . a balloon man; a grasshopper; a lizard or butterfly; a scarecrow; a robot; a scuba- or skydiver; a helicopter pilot; the president of the U.S.; a peacock; an alien from outer space, or a singer at the microphone on a television show. CATALOG CLIPPINGS Cut out faces, and phrases that do the following: 1. Describe a character: long-haired, tall, thin, mean, ugly, huge, striped, short, fat or polka-dotted; 2. List characters: dancer, mermaid, king/queen, knight, astronaut, ball player or robot; 3. Describe action: catching a fish, riding a horse, jumping rope, waving a flag, juggling five apples or holding an umbrella; 4. Indicate where action takes place: beneath a flock of birds, near a river full of fish, under a rainbow, in a swing, under a bridge or on a boat. Or, make a list of the heads of various creatures, such as a lion, moose, elephant, alligator or cockatoo. Then, make a list of different bodies, perhaps a turtle, zebra, leopard, camel, armadillo or porcupine. And then a list of tails, such as a fish, fox, pig, beaver, turkey or raccoon; and lastly, the legs of a llama, frog, hippo, duck, horse or stork. Students choose one from each of the four categories and make a composite drawing or painting. n Barbara Herberholz is an art-education consultant in Sacramento, Calif., and an Ar ts & Activities Contributing Editor. She and her late husband, Donald Herberholz, Ed.D., wrote the book, “Ar tworks for Elementary Teachers,” now in its Ninth Edition (McGraw-Hill; 2002). x www.ar tsandactivities.com boots, wheels and more from catalogs. Have each child choose one or two, paste them onto paper, and use colored markers or crayons to complete june•summer 2011
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