Curing Art Idea Droughts in Elementary Students

by C. Mackay - Date: 2007-01-12 - Word Count: 486 Share This!

Art in children encourages them to develop the creative part of their brain. Many students as they progress through elementary school stop drawing for a variety of reasons. Maybe they think their picture isn't as good as the student next to them, but most of all it is because they are in an "idea drought". They just need some help coming up with the initial idea and then their minds can take off.
One way I found to cure this "idea drought" was to generate an "ART START". Using my computer I selected a piece of clip art and then put a title on the page such as: The small picture of a castle in the corner and then the title of My Castle, or the small picture of a pumpkin and titled it "My Jack-o-Lantern". Just enough to give the child and idea and then they developed and built on that idea.
I designed a whole folder of ideas so that I could pull one quickly on a busy Monday morning. We took about 5 minutes and talked about the subject and ideas of what would be appropriate in that particular picture. The students were given the whole week to develop and expand on their idea during their spare time. Some got so excited that they took them home and worked especially hard on them even though they rarely took homework home.
The students were encouraged to use the paper as a canvas like an artist. They were to cover the whole page and should be proud enough of their work to sign it on the front. The use of color was encouraged
The real fun came when they were completed at the end of the week. I designed a title page for each art start and laminated it so I could use it from year to year. Then I three hole punched everything and inserted them into a big binder. The binder was put at the back of the room on a table where frequent visitors to the class would sit or at parent teacher conferences it was placed in the hall where parents who were waiting could browse through the book. The outsiders loved the book, but the students loved it more and would spend time when available browsing through the book enjoying each others art and ideas. You would hear comments such as "That's a good idea" "I never thought of it that way" "look at all the detail". Each week we added to the book and it was always full of fresh ideas.
The only problem was the time element. It took a lot of time to come up with ideas so if you can find them already made for you it is well worth your time.
Resource Box - Caroline Mackay 2006
Caroline Mackay is a retired teacher of thirty seven years and writer and producer of many school programs. She is the host of

Related Tags: new, display, creative, paint, art, encourage, idea, projects, class, draw, art ideas, binder, idea drought, art start, art starts, starts

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