This class was fantastic. I am going to have to make sure I offer a variation of this class again soon. Not only did this class teach a skill (book making with simple, everyday materials), the process of journaling is a valuable form of self expression, creating a unique (manageable) place to gather ideas, collections or take time to reflect.
There are so many articles and so much research on the positive benefits of journaling. As a classroom teacher, my students always had access to their own personal journal at any time during the work cycle.
I recently stumbled upon this list of benefits which, I believe, is the most simple and concise:
1. Journals help us have a better connection with our values, emotions and goals
2. Journals improve mental clarity, help solve problems and improve overall focus
3. Journals improve insight and understanding
4. Journals track our overall development
5. Journals facilitate personal growth
I hope the children who attended will feel free to put pieces of paper together, again, in the future if they feel the need to document an experience or collect and sort ideas.
We spent the first half of class working from a list of prompts. The children either worked literally with the prompt or this prompt was the catalyst for an idea of their own.
1. an animal I saw that wasn't someone's pet
2. weather I recently experienced as well as my favorite weather
3. my favorite food
4. different ways I move (or forms of transportation)
5. floor plan of a place I recently visited
6. what I like to do when I am not at school
7. list of items that make me happy or what I like to collect (I loved observing the "wheels turning" in the children's heads as they created their lists).
8. my favorite activity
9. my favorite book
10. someone new I met recently
We used different materials for each prompt: watercolor crayons, black ink, tempura paints, watercolors, markers, white charcoal, graphite pencil, soft pastels and oil pastels.
After breaking for snack, we assembled our books using a needle and embroidery thread.
I noticed the children got their second wind after visually seeing their book take shape.
Students created their own backgrounds or chose ready-made ones for their work. They applied each piece they created (each prompt) to a different page.
Usually, at least once over the course of any art class I teach, students are all working on their own ideas simultaneously. This entire class was like this and capturing photos was difficult (but I have a few)!
When in art class, a day doesn't go by without the children expressing eagerness to look at books. There are always new books to explore. I just happened to capture a typical scene here:
To read more about Create Everyday Art Classes for Children, visit this link.
To see a list of classes offered in April, click here.
Coming in May: Parts of a Flower and Georgia O'Keeffe! Stay Tuned...