SchoolArts Magazine

October 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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their self-portraits, they could fill them with images that represented their themes. Giving Students Choices I find it helpful to have certain cri- teria in a lesson, but you can also include opportunities for students to have more choices in their art-mak - ing. This project had the following criteria: (1) Create a self-portrait. (2) Use correct proportion and spacing when adding facial features. (3) Draw the subject matter fairly large to fill the page. (4) Emphasize on good composition. Students chose the theme of their self-portraits, paper size, and the media in which they worked. I feel that providing stu - dents with the power of choice really engaged them in their learning. It gave them a sense of ownership and pride in their work. Reflections This project allowed students to learn about a unique artist who defined thinking out of the box. To reflect, students wrote short stories to go along with their pieces, describing the life that their portrait had. There was excitement in the classroom and laughter at students' humorous creations. When students are able to learn and have fun at the same time, they become lifelong learners and passionate artists as they grow in their own art-making. Leigh Drake is a visual arts teacher at Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. leigh.drake N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K complete-works.html?pageno=1 Natalie Taft, grade four. Noah, Spilling Tea, grade five. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 35

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