'twas the weeks before Christmas break... (
or, what these weeks look like for art teachers!)
The Holidays are upon us.
The weeks before the holiday break will probably be the hardest weeks of your professional career (equal to it? The last week of school. But at least there is
|Typical behavior this week, |
Lesson #1: TV lies.
That precious joy radiating from
is FICTION. TV has ruined us all. Kids do not show excitement with wonder, delight and sweet giggles. Nay, nay, there are tears and fights and back talking and temper tantrums from YOUR BEST BEHAVED KIDS. You will have steam coming out of your ears by Thursday. angelic children's faces
How to deal? Repeat after me: PICK YOUR BATTLES. These kids are exhausted, beyond excited and burnt out. They are going to be irritable, cranky and teary. Try being understanding and patient. You are the adult in the room. Try to not lose your cool and punish out-of-character behavior (unless, you know, you have to). Wait until January and if the poor behavior continues, then deal with it. Chances are the kids will come back more refreshed and ready (
) to learn. hahaha
|You better watch out, you better not pout....|
Lesson #2: Do not expect their best work this week. You won't get it. You will only make yourself cry.
This is NOT the week to introduce
You do not have the kids full attention right now. You can't compete with the upcoming season. And you are going to get maybe 75% effort and attempt.
However, this is NOT the week to "just let them have free time". Unless you want a migraine that makes you cry and vomit, that is. You don't, do you? 'Cause those are the worst!
What to do? Here are some awesome things I and other Art Ed teachers have done over the years, depending on each different class/student situation:
- Get out those art games you bought/made and never have time for. Divide the kids and have competitions. Or have 2 game stations and rotate halfway through. Yes, this is the
- 1 Day Project-Observational Drawing. Elementary kids LOVE to learn how to draw. They really want this important skill, plus they can practice over the vacation. Have the kids draw from life. Here are some fun things to consider:
/holiday/Christmas decorations (Dollar Store is the bomb, the cheesier the better! winter -ornaments and garland, snowmen, etc. Great way to discuss composition and various perspective ( ) eye view? birds ?) View finders equipment ski stuff: gloves, scarves, mittens winter
- Boots and slippers-they LOVE drawing shoes! Great texture lesson!
- Holiday lights. Try turning them on and having the kids draw on black paper with colored pencils or oil pastels. Great way to observe light and color, transparency, highlights, etc. I do this with 2nd grade up.
- Holly branches, pine cones, acorns, etc. Again, look for interesting composition: make all the branches go off the paper on 3 sides, overlapping elements, that kind of thing.
- Holiday Lights: there are lessons for this all over the Internet. Basically, make a template/stencil of a holiday light bulb, trace it multiple times in a strong composition, and using pastels or metallic crayons (
), add color and glow. It works best on black paper. Check these out: etc
! Read a beloved snowman book or snow snow the movie, "The Snowman". Bonus, these works of art can be displayed throughout the winter season. show landscapes, talk about weather, time of day, value, tints, etc.! snowy people: snow emotions showing 3D using shadows showing a fun activity doing a nighttime landscape in the seasons throughout various perspective points of view (bird's eye, worm's eye) from history (Science/Social Studies integration) throughout different biomes (Science/Social Studies integration) in
- Here's the lesson I got from my student teaching days at Cranberry Pines ES, Medford, NJ, back in
OMG1990:Kirigami paper ornaments. I do this every year on this week as the kids basically demand it of me. They love it, I love it- it is fun, cool, teaches REALLY important fine motor skills that more and more kids are lacking AND uses up a bunch of scrap collage papers.
Here's the link
This teaches kids kinder and up how to (yes, I have to assist the younger kids with drawing lines, but I will not fold or cut for them):
Whatever you do, make sure it takes the entire class time to do your 1 day project, so no "down" time which leads to tears and other problems.
Avoid playing Christmas music. I know, I know, they are cute and '
Breathe deep, take care of yourself, drink lots of water, pick your battles, take a nap when you get home, and we will ALL GET THROUGH THIS WEEK TOGETHER!