My current classes are 3 groups of 7th graders for art.
I do a modified choice with my title 1 low income middle school kids, as they have had little to no art in elementary school and have little experience with materials or making their own choices.
We started out with drawing, collage, computer centers all open right off the bat, because many of them had me for art last year. Our first assignment was a mini “elements of art” book to review what I taught last year. This is an 11×17 page folded into a book, making a cover and 7 pages. They did a little work of art demonstrating each element of art. Each day I set up my tables with different materials and had them go to a table that they liked the materials. (mostly just drawing and collage materials) They all did great. (2 weeks total right before winter vacation)
Next we moved on to a “winter themed” assignment. We talked about what makes a “WOW” piece and I opened paint and sculputre centers with a couple quick reminders for set-up and clean-up on these centers. (1 week right after winter vacation)
We just finished up with our 3rd themed assignment and we are 1/2 way through the trimester. I taught facial proportions (a state and district requirement) then the kids picked a staff member to do a portrait. I taught several different techniques, ONE: pop art style using carbon paper to trace with a photoshopped picture (using Cutout filter) TWO: grid technique for drawing realistically. THREE: enlargement technique using our projector and computer to project an image and trace that enlargement. I can not tellyou how thrilled and proud I am of these projects. I have decided to make this an annual assignment for my 7th graders. It is the perfect grade, because they know the teachers well enough from being here a year already, and they still mostly like school and the teachers, plus they have some skills. 🙂 I know the 8th graders would not respectfully do a teacher portriat and the 6th graders don’t know the art room choices and skills nor the teachers well enough yet. I am working hard to get these all posted on my blogs. I have been typing up all their artist statements because that makes the art so much more special for the teachers. I scanned ALL the art, printed out color copies and along with the typed statements I am laminating them to give to the chosen staff member for a keepsake and to display in their classroom. Already the 6th graders are seeing the portraits in their other classrooms and asking if THEY get to do that next year. 🙂 I just have to make sure to put together some other demos for next year to expand the variety of media choices.