Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Art Lesson Plans

In my former life (before I moved to Tanzania) I was an art teacher. Fresh out of college, I taught for a couple of years at a pre-k through 8 school before making the move to the other side of the world. I'm thrilled to be able to use all my art teacher skills teaching the 3 school age girls on our team here in Geita. The girls are all in the elementary age range and they all love art which of course makes them that much more fun to teach. Last year we just did an overview of sorts, doing a variety lessons dealing with art elements, principles of design, and things I knew they would enjoy. This year I'm really excited to be doing a whole year on art history. We're starting with prehistoric art and will move our way through many famous artists ending with some current artists. I'm also excited to be able to share my lesson plans here. Each week I'll post the lesson plan and pictures of our work. If you're a homeschooler or just have kids who wouldn't mind an extra art project now and then I hope you'll enjoy them. I'll be posting the first lesson, Cave Paintings, tomorrow!

A note on supplies- I'm a believer in putting "real" art supplies in kids hands. Crayons every week get old. Lots of mediums, like watercolors, are just plain frustrating if you're not using the right kind of paper. That being said, I still use crayons and markers plenty and any art lesson is better than none! I'll try to offer different options for different mediums when possible and tell you where to buy it if it's something specific.

A note on ages- I found when teaching pre-k through 8 that most lessons are really pretty adaptable for most ages. You wouldn't believe how often the eighth graders are disappointed that they aren't doing the  project that the 3rd graders have been working on. In some cases I'll be doing the exact same thing with all 3 of my students and in some cases they'll be learning about the same artist, but doing slightly different projects. One easy adaption for even older kids is to give them more background information about the artist.

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