Grethel Jones

Grethel Jones


Let’s Get Creative

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Research Question:
Will having a more unique variety of art materials inside and outside increase students’ creativity and encourage participation? Will these materials cause all students to engage in some form of art expression?
I observed students within my classroom during center time, outside time, and small group. Some students were very engaged in art activities. They chose the art center using paint, glue, markers, paper and even playdough to create. Some students chose block center and created structures there. When I led a small group art activity, some students were very engaged, adding their own ideas, making their art unique. However, there were several students who were reluctant to participate. If they did decide to make an art project, they needed prompting and wanted a model to follow. Our outside area did not have any art materials at the time of my observation, so I could see right away that items were needed if art was going to be part of the outdoor classroom.

Art is so much more than a finished product. It is a process of thinking about what to create, creating something, and observing how it affects others. Art can incorporate many areas including science, math, literacy and drama. I would like for my students to experience art in many different forms. Their art projects won’t be just a product like a piece of paper to take home, to hang on the bulletin board, or to beautify the classroom. Instead the art they create will be a process of realizing how creative they can be with many different resources. They will be planning, creating and using art forms. They will be creating something one day then using that creation to make something new another day. They will be building social cooperation skills and communication skills as they work together on art projects.

Action Plan:
My plan is to create an outdoor art area that will be available and accessible to students every day. There will be the usual art supplies such as markers, paper, paint, and glue along with some nontraditional art supplies such as pine cones, tree blocks, sea shells, clay, tape, spray bottles, bubbles, recycled items and waterproof notepads. We will also be making a mud kitchen and chalkboards for our outdoor area. Our art projects will include things to take home, projects to work on for extended days, and art that is for the moment or temporary.
We will also be looking at art within the block center as students plan, draw and then build structures. We will be incorporating drama into our activities with the mud kitchen.

Some of the activities planned include:
1. Canvas painting class. The children will participate in a painting class using watercolors and canvas. Parents will have the opportunity to participate also. This will be done as a family night. The paintings will be on display in the school for other students to enjoy. We will have a “preschool museum of art”. (Arts & Humanities Standard 1, Benchmark 1.1)
2. The children will be learning about the elements of art through books and hands on art projects. (Language Arts Standard 2, Benchmark 2.1, Arts & Humanities Standard 1, Benchmark 1.1)
3. The children will be making rock crafts. We will use these as a welcoming display as people enter the play area. We will also be placing rocks different places in the community. (Arts &Humanities Standard 1, Benchmark 1.1)
4. The children will be using nature to create art both individually and as a group. They will be making land/earth art using rocks, dirt, pinecones, leaves, flowers and sticks. They will be sculpting with naturally occurring clay found in our area.
(Health/Mental Wellness Standard 1, Benchmark 1.3, 1.4, Physical Development Standard 1, Benchmark 1.5)
5. The children will be making mud pies in the mud kitchen area. (Science Standard 1, Benchmark 1.1, Arts & Humanities Standard 1, Benchmark 1.1, Health/Mental Wellness Standard 1, Benchmark 1.1)
Project Outcomes:
1. Students will be actively engaged in art activities during outdoor and indoor time.
2. There will be improvement in fine motor skills.
3. Students will create both as individuals and as a group. They will show social cooperation skills.