SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 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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ing techniques and their media for each section. Each section needed to contain a different drawing tech- nique as well as a different media. 4. Students could choose from a list of media options as well as a list of different drawing techniques. I felt that providing students with the power of choice really eng- aged them in their learning. It gave them a sense of ownership and pride in their work, which I believe is the essence of art. Understanding Media Exploration Sometimes media exploration can be a bit challenging. What medium works well with another? How can another medium be used properly? I challenged my fifth-grade students to experiment with different media and explore on their own. Students made small thumbnail sketches to experiment with the different media and to see how certain ones responded to each other. After dividing up each of the sec- tions of their portraits, students applied a different medium to each one. They could repeat media but needed to use at least six. Students could choose from pencil, colored pen - cil, pastel, charcoal, watercolor, col- lage, markers, etc. Each section of the portrait was to be solely devoted to one particular medium. This approach strengthened students' understanding of media usage far beyond what a lec - ture could have done. Exploring Drawing Techniques In addition to being able to choose art media, students had the oppor - tunity to apply a variety of drawing techniques. Students had to choose at least six techniques to incorporate in their portraits. Choices of techniques included stippling, crosshatching, pen - cil value, hatching, contour hatching, pen and ink application, mixed media choices, chiaroscuro, micrography, and patterning. Students could also create their own drawing techniques. Conclusions The drawing techniques mixed with the different media usage allowed students to experience a variety of con - cepts and skills in one assignment. And, there were fewer groans and com - plaints from students than usual while completing their self-portraits! Providing students with the power of choice reall ngaged them in their learning. Leigh Drake is a visual arts teacher at Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, Vir- ginia. N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work. W E B L I N K wards/differentiation_of_instruction Previous page, left: Lauren, grade five; right: Phadrea, grade five. Below: Kaitlyn, grade five.

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