Sunday, August 8, 2010

Working With the Tatertots

So the blog has been falling a little short lately as far as updates are concerned. But this is because I have been doing something just as valuable with my time. I have been focusing a little less on my art and a little more on teaching art to kids. I have been working at a camp called 'Dutchess Arts Camp' for the past few years, being a counselor for the 7 to 11 year old age range. Due to some scheduling shortages I ended up with a few extra blocks in the weeks to come up with my own project.

My challenge: Come up with a project that taught kids about some particular type or facet of art that related to the theme of the week and could be completed in about an hour.

The first week I had this opportunity the theme of the week was 'Art Around the World,' so I decided to teach the kids how to make very basic books that could be their "passports" for the week.
To make the books the kids designed back and front covers to their passports and then glued a very simple accordian structure of pages to the inside of each cover. I encouraged them to create emblems for the outside that reflected what art camp to them, though we definitely ended up with just a lot of American flags.
After the books were finished I took head shots of each camper in my group and printed them out nice and small like passport photos and them glue the pictures inside the cover.

As I final touch I handed out small pieces of paper cut like stamps and asked the kids to decorate the stamps with the activities we had done. There were Tye-Dye Day stamps, Theater stamps, Magic and Mime stamps, all of which we would glue into the passport as they completed them. This part they did during the extra time in their other classes, the "free draw" time. All the kids went to the extra effort of trying to fill up their books even though it was their time to do whatever they liked.

All in all: It was well suited for the age group (7 and 8 year olds) but it was impossible to pull of in an hour. I had to do most of the prep work for the kids and we had to make the all the extra pieces on our own free time. With an hour every day for a week this could have been one amazing project.

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