Home Questions Answered How to offer art students a balanced curriculum (media, product…)?

What percentage of your students work is 2D? Judging from the amount of stiff white paper I’ve passed out these first two weeks of my art teaching career, it seems to be too much of it! Or am I being too hard on myself?
I told my advisor I want to set the goal of diversifying student products and media used. What do more experienced teachers do? I’d appreciate any guidelines or tips! I teach primary school, so ages 3 to 10, most of them 2 periods a week. There is no set art curriculum but each grade has 6 units a year (some at the moment are “relationships and families”, “germs and scientific discovery”, “toys and games”) I’m trying to find a balance between teaching ‘traditional’ art lessons and making connections (not superficial, if possible) to their units.
I inherited a room stocked with clay, printmaking material, and lots of colored paper (lots of large thin sheets with bright color on one side, white on the other….what do I do with this?) All the students have iPads though they are not hooked up to printers. My own background is in graphic design and textile arts. Thank you in advance!!

2D work is often cheaper and because of that you can do a variety of things with limited materials but if you have clay and printmaking materials then take advantage. Look up a 3D design class at a college level and see how they have lessons that take 2d materials like paper and cardboard and make them 3D.

Clay is excellent to work with at any age. Teach them different techniques. (Coil vs. slab)

You can do origami with the colored paper.

You could do a lesson where they all create their own board game or collaborate to make them and then have a day where they play them in class.

For germs and scientific discovery it’ll really depend on the age group for younger students I had them all make clay dinosaurs, fired them and then hid them in sand and the next day they did a dinosaur dig with old toothbrushes and paintbrushes, cleaned up their dinosaur and then got to paint it.

With older students gumdrop and toothpick sculptures can be a lot of fun. It teaches structural balance and could signify the spreading of germs. I usually have a contest to see who can build the tallest tower and the winner gets some sort of prize appropriate for the age group.

These are just a few ideas that took a few minutes to come up with.

I’m sure with a little research you can fill the year. Also, with your background, teach them some graphic design work on their ipads. You can always collect them digitally. There isn’t always a need for a physical product.

question submitted and answered through reddit.com/r/teaching by TeacherAffairs

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