Well, I am now in my third full year of teaching (can’t believe it already!).   I am beginning to get a good grasp on the curriculum for Grades 4, 5, and 6.   In doing so, I am finding it much easier to plan big, cross-curricular projects, focus on the big questions/concepts, and infuse art and technology into areas that make sense for the students learning.

Making art and technology authentic to my students has been important to me, as well as ensuring they learn important skills, techniques, and vocabulary associated.   With art, I always try to focus on the WHY, (WHY did I choose this colour, WHY did I like this, WHY didn’t I?)

I am already beginning to have some amazing ideas for next school year that relate to art projects – I will share those hopefully as I come out with them.

For now, here is what I’ve been doing THIS year, that is art-related!

1. Visual Journals
These have been an amazing learning tool for the majority of my students this year.   Whether it be Social Studies, Math, Science, LA, Art, Health… whatever!   The students always get options on how to represent their learning, and usually they choose to make a visual journal page.


Here is a great example of a math multiplication strategy page a student made.  Each strategy is a flap that explains what it is, how to do it, and an example!

I will make a longer, more in depth post about how I introduce the journals, the requirements I provide my students, as well as the self, and teacher assessments I use.

2. Art Cart!

In order to make the most out of art supplies, myself and another teacher have pooled our stuff onto an “art cart” that we share between classes.  Her kids come grab it when they need it, and mine grab it when we need it.  It has worked very well so far this year as a great mobile supply cart for unique items to add to Visual Journal pages, or for other creative endeavors.

visual journal cart
visual journal cart

On the cart there are stamps, stamp pads, sponges, mod podge, scrap paper, newspaper, old books, old playin gcards, string… etc!   You think of it, its on the cart!

3. Daily Drawing

This has been a class favourite!   We’ve done 3 separate 30 day drawing challenges – a lot of ideas I come up with on my own, or borrow from other drawing challenges that I’ve googled.   Basically I use my SMART Board, and create a Notebook file.  Each slide is a new day.   In the morning when students arrive, the daily drawing task is on the SMART Board, so that I can do attendance, check homework, talk to students, etc. while everyone else stays occupied with an artistic task that requires creativity and time.   For the 30 day challenges, I have students use a two page spread in their Visual Journals.   They then divide each page into 15 squares (3×15).

My students LOVE seeing the creative ideas they’ll have to draw next!

Some examples of daily drawing challenges:
– draw your teacher as a monster
– draw a fruit eating a vegetable
– draw the inside of your brain
– draw two animals mixed together

I will try to post a picture of one of my student’s completed drawing challenge, they are so fun, and get the kids drawing, and thinking while I get morning tasks completed.