I’m guessing that as an art teacher I’m not the first to overestimate the abilities of my students.
I’m never more aware of this than when new kinders come to my room at the beginning of a school year. Some are semi-prepared from preschool, but some are not. So as much as I want to dig in at first with some beautiful new project, I’ve learned that the first class just needs to be super, super simple.
- Black construction paper, about 9″ x 15″
- Colored construction paper, about 2″ x 8″
- Black marker, thick tip
- Glue stick
- Kinders in CA start much of the year studying patterns, so this blends well with their curriculum. I spend a few minutes talking about all the ways that lines can make patterns (round, square, zigzag, etc.) and then draw some examples on the board. The students are all given a thick black marker and five strips of construction paper about 2″ x 8″ wide.
- They are asked to draw a different line pattern on each. No coloring in is allowed, only lines.
- When the patterns are done, they get a sheet of black construction paper, about 9″ x 15″ or so. After instructions on how to use a glue stick, they glue the strips to the black paper. It helps to start at the top and work down, leaving some space in between. As more than one kinder teacher has taught me, it’s important that these new students have a successful experience their first time around in the art room. It’s worth it at this point to focus on the process and not so much on the product. The masterpieces can all come later.