Opening the Drawing Center starts with the “Draw Around the Room” Game. I set out different drawing materials at each of my big art tables. Each table has materials and laminated technique/vocab cards and some examples of art in that medium. I have 6 tables so we explore chalk pastels, oil pastels, drawing pencils, colored pencils, crayons and markers. Students get about 10 minutes at each table to explore the medium and copy down vocab words. After this activity they have a better idea of which mediums they like to use. We close with a discussion about which mediums are better for which type of artwork.
Since my periods are about 47 minutes, this activity usually takes 2 days. But due to absences, we usually have a few that need to finish on a third day. Since I do this at the very beginning of the semester, the next assignment is a pre-assessment where students draw the “Best thing I can draw~ right now.” They can choose which drawing media or combination that they want to use for this project. I give them 2 class periods to work on this assignment. Together these 2 projects introduce the main art medias available of the drawing center while also allowing me to get to know the student’s abilities and affinities.
How do you introduce new art mediums to students?
Do you require kids to try out something during or after your demos?