I've recently been trying to incorporate more fun into my art classrooms. My goal is to get students excited to come to art and graphic design class. One thing I've found that brings joy-- and even some social and collaboration opportunities-- is using games. I don't typically play an art-related game for an entire hour, but the following are art-related games I've researched and many that I've tried out in my own high school classrooms. Many of these games could be modified for younger students too.
#1 Exquisite Corpse
How to Play:
#2 Pareidolia Scavenger Hunt
#3 Sculpey Pictionary
Need a list of pictionary words? Here are 138 different words at different difficulty levels I created for my classes. Download them free by clicking here!
#4 Ink Blowing
#5 Street Art Online Game
#6 Dice Drawing Game
I decided to create two summer art classes that were each a week long through Community education in my district. The first class was called "Art Around the World" and featured projects such as a chinese lantern, making didgeridoos out of PVC pipe, and multicultural paper mache masks. The second class was called "Arts & Crafts Camp" and I definitely think this class was my favorite. The Arts & Crafts camp really let student's imaginations run wild and create some really cool art! Each class included students from the ages of 9 to 13. If you've never taught a community ed art class before, you should know it's a blast! No tests, no standards, just a room full of art supplies and enthusiastic students. For any other interested art teachers out there, I included the schedules for each class's days below for your reference.
Art Around the World
Day One- Mexican Folk Art terra cotta pots & Paper mache mask
Day Two- Australian Didgeridoos made out of PVC pipe with a beeswax mouthpiece
Day Three- African Adinkra printmaking on t-shirts
Day Four- Ukrainian painted eggs & Russian architecture metal tooling
Day Five- Chinese Calligraphy lantern & Free Art Time
Arts & Crafts Camp
Day One- Cardboard Challenge & Leather tooling/stamping
Day Two- Travel Posters & Clay food
Day Three- Dada-inspired lamp & Drawing to Music
Day Four- Metal tooling & painting clay food to look realistic
Day Five- Junk Sculptures & Hot glue fancy frames
Check out the photos below to see all of the cool art we created & tips for doing the same!
Metal tooled tiles. Cut 38 gauge aluminum metal into 6"x6" squares. The foil I purchased was from Dick Blick and came in 12"x25 ft rolls for around $16. Fold a 1/2" over on each side to prevent injury. Use a blunt pencil to tool designs. I had students draw their design on scratch paper first and then put their paper over the metal and traced to transfer. Use colored sharpie to highlight the areas you tooled. You can also turn the metal over for an embossed effect.
The lamps were created using pint size mason jars, socket light switch kit ($3.99 at Menards or other hardware store), modge podge, tacky glue, and an assortment of magazines and newspapers. Students decoupaged their cut outs onto the lamp using the tacky glue and modge podge. Some students used shredded up tissue paper and decoupaged the tissue paper to the inside of their lamp for a cool background. We used a nail to pound a hole into the lid and then used tin snips to cut a larger hole (this was mostly done by me due to sharp edges). Then the sock was inserted into the hole and a nightlight bulb placed inside that! The original project idea was for a hanging lamp, but some students designed their lamp to sit on a table. We simple cut a small notch in the lid for the cord, so the lamp could sit level. This was probably my student's favorite project!
A cool way to work on the didgeridoo was actually discovered by accident! We placed didgeridoos on sturdy, over-turned chair legs so we didn't have to worry about smearing paint. 1 1/2" schedule 40 PVC was used and cut in a variety of lengths from 3.5 ft to 5.5 ft. Students sanded the PVC and then painted at least two coats of acrylic paint onto the PVC. Next, students took q-tips and paint to create aboriginal-inspired dot paintings on their didgeridoo. The last step was adding melted beeswax to the top to create a mouthpiece and a few beads/feathers for decoration. This project was student's favorite from the Art Around the World class!
A while back I had stumbled upon the website of a teacher who did a "soup drive" along with her Pop Art project. I thought this was such a cool way to get students involved with art history and their community! I took this teacher's (I have no idea who she is) idea and ran with it. I created what is now called, "The Warhol Project". For the last month, students have been bringing in cans of food where we will be donating them to Channel One Food Bank in Rochester, MN. Our goal is 400 cans by the end of May. We already have 238!
We are collecting our cans in two large barrels that Channel One kindly gave us. It's not a bad idea to put a sign on them that states they are not garbage (I encountered I few issues there...)
Last semester we made pop bottles (Pop Art...get it?) on the benday dots handout. We used markers and colored pencils for that project. This semester, I plan on having students draw soup cans in their table groups and use the benday dots handout I used last semester. I think I will teach students how to use watercolor pencils instead of using regular colored pencils and markers. I think it would be interesting for students to use complementary colors in this project as well.
I just love how the students (and parents!) have shown so much enthusiasm and generosity by donating to our soup drive! Stay tuned for the next part of The Warhol Project: Drawing our soup cans!
I am a 7th year high school art teacher in Rochester, MN. I have taught middle school for 2 years and high school for almost 5 years. I truly enjoy working with students on a daily basis. I also enjoy teaching real-world skills such as problem solving, using technology, and the power of teamwork and collaboration. My joy is sharing my passion for art with others!
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