I start all of my classes off with a watercolor bookmark lesson. This of course happens after I introduce myself, syllabus, layout of the room and expectations for the year. With all of that said I like to start off with this simple lesson so that the students can get their creativity going and can show me where their basic skills are at.
Many of the grades I will read a book to and then have them create an artwork based off of the book. Other times I allow them to chose something that will flow well on a bookmark. Here are a the books I usually read:
I usually read the book ish by Peter Reynolds to the older students because they are so worried about being an amazing artist that they forget it is ok to not be the best. Student forget that art takes practice and hard work. For some reason at one point or another they decided they weren’t good at art and so they began to try less and less. The book the dot by Peter Reynolds is also a really good book and I use this with the younger students. This engages their creativity and pushes them. This is not just another cat or house they have to create, they must use a dot to create something else. It is reverse; this teaches them that everything is made of shapes. The Mousterpiece by Jane Zalben is a great way to introduce a lot of historical artworks to students 6th grade and up in a creativity and inviting way. Yes I said is I make my 6th, 7th and 8th graders do circle time! 🙂 They love it. We sit down and discuss books and relax for a few minutes away from the distraction of the supplies and tipping chairs.