Imagene Mallory, Victory Elementary
Finding a beginning of the year project can be a daunting task sometimes. However, I have had great success with a particular project that I have used for years. As an art teacher, it is very hard to learn over 500 names and understand the various personalities of my students. The lower grade teachers usually start of the school year with “All about me” lessons to learn simple details about their students. What I have done is used this lesson but upped it a few notches for my older students. I found this lesson many years ago on the site incredibleart.com. However I have tweaked it where the changes seem to have made it a little easier for my 5th and 6th grade students. I have realized that students love to do any kind of art using their name and love creating anything that is “personal”.
Using square paper that I have precut, students would fold to make 8 triangles. Now for the fun part; giving them some questions to answer personalizing their work. I would ask 8 or 9 questions. For example, what is your favorite color, your birthdate, favorite food, etc. But before we started the process, we talked about shapes, colors, lines…elements that we will get into more detail as the school year progresses. I would ask them if they know what a kaleidoscope was. We would discuss that and then I would whip out actual kaleidoscope (from dollar tree of course)! Their eyes would light up because I would tell them to hit bright colors to see the different shapes created while looking through the kaleidoscope. They loved this part of course. Then I would show a student made project so they can see what it looked like. Students were told to write their words always hitting the triangle line or connect the lines from the letters to the edges of the triangle shape. Some used a ruler to go over the lines so the triangles are more visible. This helps to create distinct shapes and spaces to color. Upon demonstration, I specifically showed them how to write the letters starting from the outside going in (large to small) or the inside going out (small to large) and to keep rotating their paper just like they would a kaleidoscope. After the words are written, they go over them with a black sharpie so they stand out. Markers are used to fill each and every space a different color. The kids love this part and the end results are fantastic! They love that it is personalized and colorful, and it helps me with learning something about them.