The end of the school year is fast approaching. When you start to feel the students’ energy shifting from school to vacation mode, do you keep pressing through the next lesson, even if focus is lacking? Or, do you come up with some creative ways to keep them engaged in the art program, with less deadlines and assignments? We came up with a few ideas on how you might want to have your students use Artsonia as an end of year or summer-vacation activity.
1. Do-Over: How my skills have changed!
If you have published art for a few years now, why not offer them a do-over! Have them browse all the artwork in their Artsonia gallery and ask them if there’s one they did (last week or 3 years ago) that they’d like to “do-over.” Certainly, you’ll need to take into account materials and supplies needed, but some of the students might thoroughly enjoy looking at their Kindergarten “Blue Dog” and then coming up with their much improved, more detailed version of the same lesson! What an easy way for students to instantly see how much their talents and skills have developed thanks to your teaching and guidance!
2. Review Guestbook Comments
Ask students to browse through their guestbooks. Do any of the comments stand out as very special to the student? Which ones are their favorites and why? This is a fun way to remind students that other people are excited about their work and love to see them being creative at school.
3. Self Evaluation
Have your students browse through their gallery. Can they find one piece of artwork they wish they had worked a little harder on? Or, perhaps they would have changed something about the process/outcome? If they had the chance to “Do Over” (see #1 above), what would they do differently? (artwork credit: Peyton4697, Wolford Elementary, TX)
4. End of Year Review/Art Museum Search
While you might not give students a grueling end of year exam, why not give them a simple take-home (or summer) review on the artists/styles/or periods you studied this year? Rather than browsing YOUR school gallery, have them visit the Artsonia Museum search page and type in a keyword to find lots of examples of Pop Art, for example. Have them write down an art ID number of a few favorites and share them with the class.
5. Take an Art Trip around the Globe
Students in more than 130 countries around the world have artwork showing on Artsonia. Why not take a few minutes to have your students see what their peers are creating halfway around the world? Have your students pick a few different countries/regions from around the world, perhaps based on their own cultural heritage or simply a random pick. Ask them to visit the Countries Represented page of Artsonia and browse the different school galleries, making note of their favorite pieces.
6. Get Creative This Summer!
The school year is too short and allotted art periods are few and far between for most teachers. So, why not encourage your kids to keep learning and creating this summer? Using the projects search page have students use the keyword search to browse Artist’s names or styles. Alternatively, have them search exhibits by specific mediums they like to use. Have them pick some favorites and perhaps, you can give them some tips on how to try some of these lessons on their own this summer!
7. Publish Artwork from Home!
Be sure all your parents are registered with valid email addresses before the end of the year! Encourage your students to have their parents upload “summer artwork” to their personal gallery. It doesn’t require your approval, nor does it show up on the school gallery, but it’s a great way to keep their families engaged in the arts all summer.
8. Summer Artwork Travel Postcards
Are your students taking a summer vacation? Encourage them to pack a small sketchpad! They can help create the family vacation memory book, complete with their own sketches of what they see and do. And, if they are up for it, have them submit the drawing to their Artsonia gallery and send you a postcard (maybe have them mail to school at your attention, if you don’t want to give out your home address). How cool to come back in the fall and have an assortment of hand-made postcards from your students’ travels!
9. Published Artist Certificates
Does your school hand out end-of-year awards? How about the art room? If you need a simple way to honor some of your students, you can print out Artsonia Published Artist Certificates! Just add your student’s name and date and it’s ready to go!
10. Summer Newsletter for Parents
Why not keep in touch with parents over the summer once in a while? Maybe you offer summer camps, workshops or studio hours? Let the parents know what opportunities might be available to their kids. Are there any special museum days coming up? Are there any arts festivals in your area? Keeping connected over the summer will remind parents that encouraging creativity isn’t just the art teacher’s job, it’s part of everyday life!