Students researched elements of art and principles of design. They then picked which elements and principles of art they wanted to learn more about and demonstrate in an art piece. They experimented and selected the media they wanted to use and learned more about an artist who used the same media. Students submitted a proposal and timeline to their teacher for feedback and approval. Students asked for mini-lessons from the teacher as needed, and participated in regular peer reviews. Finally, they presented their work in a gallery for adults and community members and explained their thinking and rationale for their works of art.
“People think abstract art is easy, but it’s actually really hard. You have to make sure you have the right colors every time you paint, and blending colors, light and dark, are really hard. ” - Aaron
“I’ve never done anything like this before. Taking it from sketch to final product was challenge. You really need to arrange your time well.” - Harriette
“Mistakes are something necessary when creating your project, because you have to learn. No one is perfect.” - Charlotte
“It was the most engaged the kids had ever been. No kids were goofing off because they were invested. As a teacher, it was messy and chaotic at times, and I needed to establish systems of check-ins such as peer reviews. The needs were so diverse, that I was working with kids constantly in different ways. I was having intelligent art conversations with students rather than telling students to fix things. I liked that students not only had mini lessons, but self-learning through videos and research, as well as peer learning. I focused on the importance of the word ‘yet’ in order to help students have a growth mindset. Parents really appreciated the variety and that students were so confident in communicating ideas.” - Juanita McGarrigle