Children need to learn the alphabet in order to learn to read. I feel the same thing about the Elements of Art and Principles of Design
when it comes to learning to create art.
As an elementary art teacher, I saw it as my duty to give students these building blocks so that they would have the knowledge to break out and be creative on their own. I also saw it as my duty to give them the opportunities to explore on their own and have choice in the artwork they were creating. Finding that balance is important but difficult in the elementary classroom. Sometimes the time was there to have students break out on their own right after a lesson in those building blocks and other times I resigned to acknowledge they would have a chance to explore this concept further later on their own or with another lesson. As any elementary art teacher knows - time is very precious in our classrooms. My hope is that all of my students came out of my classes with a general base knowledge of these important building blocks that they continued to build on as time went along.
I'm going to spend some time going through different Elements of Art and Principles of design and share different ways we can teach these to students and give them chances to explore them further. Since I'm starting a fresh start with this blog, I felt this is a great place to begin and build on.
The first concept I started the year with was LINE. I see it as the fundamental element that all art has. There are so many creative and fun ways to teach, review, and practice line quality with your students.
Here's a sneak peek into some projects I will begin to share in my next post.
Theresa Gillespie spent over 20 years teaching Art in the Moline School District in Illinois. She has a BA degree in Art Education and a MEd degree in Education & Technology. She also is a graduate level instructor for The Art of Education