Get Ahead in the New Year with These Three Artsy Classroom Tips

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Are you looking for ways to get ahead in the classroom this new year? Well, look no further! This blog post is here to give you three tips on how to use art in your classroom to set your students up for success. Art has many benefits, such as developing problem-solving skills, fostering creativity, and promoting collaboration. These three tips will help you use art to its fullest potential in your classroom, so read on to learn more!

Utilize Student Artwork as Décor

One of the most creative and inspiring ways to bring art into your classroom is to use student artwork as décor. Not only does it show that you appreciate your student’s talents, but it also encourages them to continue pursuing art in their educational career. Additionally, it adds a personal touch to the classroom and helps create a positive learning atmosphere.

To get started with utilizing student artwork, consider displaying it in prominent areas in your classroom such as near the entrance or on bulletin boards. You can even hang the artwork from the ceiling to add a whimsical and creative effect. You can also frame the artwork to further emphasize the importance of each piece. If possible, try to include information about the artist along with their work; this will help students learn more about their peers and appreciate their accomplishments.

If you’re looking for more ways to use art in the classroom, consider checking out the website Party in the Art Room for ideas and inspiration. There's a variety of helpful resources for bringing creativity and artistic expression into the classroom, from creative exercises to easy-to-follow activities. 

Teach a Lesson on Self Portraits

Teaching a lesson on self-portraits is a great and mostly easy way to incorporate art into your classroom in the new year. Self-portraits are a great way for students to express themselves and create something that they can be proud of. 

When teaching a self-portrait lesson, it's important to provide your students with a basic understanding of art fundamentals. Start by discussing different types of lines, colors, and shapes, as well as perspective and shading. This will help students develop a basic understanding of how to create a self-portrait. 

You can also show your students examples of different portraits from various artists, such as Kehinde Wiley. His portraits feature bright colors and intricate details, making them perfect examples for your lesson. 

Once your students have an understanding of the basics, you can introduce the assignment. Ask your students to use materials like markers, colored pencils, or paints to create a portrait of themselves. Encourage them to get creative with their artwork and use bold colors. Once they are finished with their artwork, allow them to share it with the class and explain why they chose certain colors and design elements. (Here's a super easy self-portrait lesson from Party in the Art Room on TpT!)

Finally, hang the self-portraits around your classroom as a reminder of the creative potential that lies within your students. This type of art activity can not only be fun and engaging for your students, but also help build confidence and foster an appreciation for art.

Create an Arts Corner

An arts corner is a great way to encourage creativity and expression in the classroom. An arts corner can be easily set up with books about artists, art centers and art prints that students can use as inspiration. 

Books about artists can provide students with an introduction to famous works and stories of the past. You can introduce your students to artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Klee and Picasso. You can also include biographies and narratives on other famous works, such as the Mona Lisa or The Creation of Adam. 

You can also set up art centers like this one based on the work of Van Gogh, in the Arts Corner to give students space to express themselves. This can be done by providing various materials such as colored pencils, paper, markers and clay. These items can be used to create different projects such as collages, sculptures, drawings and prints. Furthermore, you can also include books about techniques and styles that students can use to further their art practice. 

Finally, you can also bring art into the classroom with prints of famous works. By displaying these prints around the classroom, students can gain a greater appreciation for the history of art. Furthermore, it will also inspire them to create their own works based off of what they’ve seen. (Read this for tips on choosing artwork that won't trigger a trauma response from your students).

By setting up an arts corner in the classroom, your students will have access to the tools they need to be creative. With these resources at their disposal, they will be able to explore their own creativity while also learning more about the history of art.

Final Thoughts

As the new year begins, it’s a great time to think about creative ways to incorporate art into the classroom.
By using student artwork as décor, teaching lessons on self portraits, and creating an arts corner, you can
make the classroom more inviting and engaging for your students. Not only can this spark conversations
about different types of art, but it will help foster your students’ creativity. Plus, using art in the classroom
can also have a positive impact on the educational outcomes of your students. So, don’t wait any longer –
start planning ways to use art in your classroom this new year!

by Amanda Koonlaba, Ed.S.

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