I know there has been much talk about process vs product lately. I just wanted to share my viewpoint on this wonderful topic. Wonderful topic you may ask? Yes! Art is so important to a child. Those scribbles in toddler years develop into lines, shapes and designs. I see it with my own children. How delightful it is to see little portraits develop from the circles over the last month.
In my classroom setting I always start with the process. Mostly, we start by taking paint and painting shades of colors on construction paper. This is our painted paper. Next, we dive into the scrap box of painted paper and add that to our projects.
In the project shown below students first painted the background. I just put out big paper, paints and brushes.
(I did let them know that their future projects would be added to this large painting.)
Various colors of paint are in the egg cartons. The students then have free choices on colors to use.
I gave them a subject to paint. "Flowers" that was it. I did not say what or how to paint. Children just have the tendency to take off, but a springboard idea is always helpful.
The next photo is our product: I had students use painted paper that we created in the past (process) to make their Mexican Blankets. Cut strips, glue down and add lines and patterns (you know those fun scribbles from the toddler years) using oil pastels and paint. We used construction paper for the base to glue the strips onto.
Lastly, we glued down our Mexican blankets and guitars to create a Mexican Marketplace.
The students absolutely love seeing the progression of their work.
Never take the fun out of creating because that is where the learning begins!
Laura is a elementary art teacher who is the author of Painted Paper. She has presented her thematic units nationally at the National Art Education Association and Ohio Art Eduction Association Conferences. You can follow her updates on fun and creative projects for kids here