So when I came across Collaborative Circle Paintings last school year by Marcia, from Art is Basic, I was super-excited. I usually try to choose projects based on what I think students will like, but sometimes I let my guard down and choose something because I love it. Selfish, I know. But so refreshing. And I've found that my excitement and energy is catching, so when I love it, the students do, too. Win-win.
There wasn't an opportunity to try this out last year until the art show came along. The art show club (formally called the Art Show Architects, led by moi) wanted to make something to sell to raise money for the art department. I proposed making bookmarks, cut from large, collaborative paintings. And so, an opportunity presented itself! Then we did it again in one of my 4th grade classes when we needed some kind of a present to give our PTA volunteers at the end of the year thank-you breakfast.
I started the lesson by showing the awesome video Marcia made, which the kids loved (I think it's so important for students to look at art... made by fellow students, and not just during critiques). Then we talked about the potential of a circle, and I demo-ed some potential circle transformations. It's key to talk about the art of collaboration--- how to discuss your decisions or ask for advice, share the space and materials, and respect the work-in-progress. Providing limited quantities of neon and metallic tempera, and talking up the "specialness" of those colors (which I can't always make available due to limited quantities), helped to up the ante in terms of encouraging students to be on their best behavior, and they were.
Here are the results, enjoy!
|Cut, and ready to be laminated.|
|Finished bookmarks ready for PTA volunteers to pick their favorite.|