REDLEFSEN'S CLIFF NOTES FOR:
"HOW STUDENTS CAN BE MORE EXPRESSIVE
WITH THEIR ART AND HOW TO GET THEIR
CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING
Anitra Redlefsen, M.S.
- Whenever possible, give students choices (with projects, mediums, etc.); they will be enthusiastic and their learning will be richer.
- Provide them with opportunities to apply their learning experiences (i.e., “show and tell” for parents, group discussions, etc.).
- Share with them the importance of responding; responding to each brush stroke, each pencil mark, each indentation in clay, etc. Creating is an interactive process.
- Reinforce that this is their creation and they have the power to make or change whatever is their choice.
- Metaphors are a great teaching tool; for example, I always use athletics as a metaphor; a runner does not go right out to the track one day and run five miles; the runner exercises muscles and builds cardiovascular endurance first to prepare him for running; an artist does not sit down one day and draw or paint a still life, he practices drawing individual objects over and over until one day he can draw the object effortlessly and begins to compose the still life. Practice and disciple are essential for both the runner and the artist. And everyone has the ability to do both.
- Be always willing to switch places and let students teach you!
- Include parents whenever possible in activities; they will be more likely to help reinforce creativity and learning at home and their lives will be richer as well!
- After completing each art project, have students complete a worksheet, answering the questions in their own words. It is amazing what they will tell you about what they have done.
- Include the process of creating as part of the project; for example, ask: “Describe in your own words, what is this art piece all about?” “How do you feel about this work?” “What did you learn about art or yourself in creating this work?”
- Create your own flash cards and make them fun by having the answer obvious or by partially filling in the letters to the word(s) that are the answer.
- Make quizzes fun as well by making the correct answer obvious: i.e., “In a painting, when you create a subtle, low contrast in color, shape or line, this change is called a:
- Include art history as part of the project; students are interested in the time period, the artist, the techniques, whatever was going on at the time.
- Create and discuss joint goals and objectives with students and their parents; periodically review to see if you are accomplishing what you set out to do.
- Provide written or oral achievement feedback to both the student and the parent periodically.
- Exhibit and display students’ art creations all over the place!
- Celebrate students’ successes with Achievement Parties, inviting parents and others to share in the celebration.
- Celebrate famous artists’ birthdays and insure that includes your students!
- Share your own art and art experiences with students, they love real life examples and stories.
- Include field trips whenever you can. It is so thrilling to study a piece of art, even to have done a look a like of it as a class project, and then to stand before it in a gallery or museum. The learning is monumental.
Please feel free to call or email if you have any questions!