Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Jazz up your Back-to-School Bulletin Boards!

The Artful Advocate took the summer off, but now we're back, and you can expect to see a few welcome back to school posts with some great advocacy tips for starting your school year, in the coming days and weeks!  We'll start today with creating quickie bulletin board art. 

Many of you are just starting back to school, and probably want to make a big splashy impact for your art programs.  Your school will probably be hosting an Open House or something similar in near future, and maybe you are panicked about how to fill your bulletin boards to make an impact when you have barely seen your students yet.  On top of all this, National Arts in Education Week is looming, September 10-16.  For more information on this week, check out the  National Arts in Education website here at this link.  From the website, here's a terrific quote about the value of the arts in an education program:
"The arts are an essential part of a complete education, no matter if it happens in the home, school, or community. Students of all ages—from kindergarten to college to creative aging programs—benefit from artistic learning, innovative thinking, and creativity. Celebrating National Arts in Education Week is a way to recognize this impact and share the message with friends, family, and communities."

So... you want to make your art program visible to visitors who come to the school for Open House or other programs.  That means quickly filling up those bulletin boards I mentioned before.  You don't have much time, so think SIMPLE and COLORFUL so that people can't help but notice them as they walk by.  Perhaps you might try some easy and quick one-class period project ideas in conjunction with International Dot Day, which is on September 15th, during National Arts in Education Week!  Read the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds for inspiration!  You may want to sign up to participate at the Dot Day website, and get a link to a free planning guide.  Or plan on your own: there are so many easy ways you can incorporate dots/circles in art lessons. 
  • Share the work of Roy Lichtenstein and discuss his use of Ben-Day Dots.  Use the eraser on the end of a pencil for a stamper to make your own dots!  For a quickie projects, have students  outline simple shapes on 8" paper squares with black Sharpies and fill in with dots of primary colors, one color inside the shape, another color outside.  Hang them all side by side like a patchwork quilt.  Or you can outline letters on small sheets of paper that put together will spell words like CREATE, or the Elements of Art, or whatever you want!  Hand out the papers, and have each student paint their letter filled with primary dots.  Simple and effective when displayed together, and if it says something meaningful when assembled, that's a bonus for you! 
  • Look at the work of pointillist painters and create mini-pointillist paintings of a simple subject: a flower, a bug, a heart, a star, your initials, etc.  
  • Look at Kandinsky's painting Squares with Concentric Rings, and create one day concentric circle paintings using analogous colors (color families), that can be quickly stapled up side-by-side again like a big quilt, to fill bulletin boards like a giant mural.  
  • Use discarded CD's as your dots, and hot glue them to small square pieces of tag board.  Have kids draw or paint petals on them to make flowers.  The CD can be decorated with Sharpie markers.  
Thinking ahead a year, in order to avoid the stress of having to cover those bulletin boards in time for Open House when you are still learning your students' names, here's an easy alternative.  In their final art classes in June, have your students listen to some happy music and use leftover paints to paint abstract "Improvisations" (look at Kandinsky, again) inspired by the music.  Or use leftover construction paper scraps to make colorful collages.  Give different colors of paper/paint to each grade level or class.  Hang them all on the bulletin boards before you leave in June; if you've used different colors per grade, arrange them in a rainbow order when you display them to give the display cohesiveness.  Then hang sheets of newspaper over the displays to cover them for the summer.  When you set up your classroom next August, pull off the newspaper and you've got ready-made colorful bulletin boards!

Stop back in a day or two for another post about your back-to-school bulletin boards! 

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