Hello friends! Many schools are already coming back for the new school year and I thought I’d round up some previous posts you may have missed from years ago that might help you find some ways to start your school year off right! The first section contains links and images from my blog. The second section contains blog posts from some of my art teacher friends!
Back to School Tips and Projects from Art is Basic
In this blog post, Tips for the First Days of School, I’ve compiled a list of tips from dozens of art teachers at different grade levels. Very useful for new ideas! Click on the image below to see the blog post.
For the little ones, a simple first day of artistic drawing it’s a great way to ease into the year. I found this idea from Beth Carter and created my own student worksheet.
After introducing the rules and a simple survey or drawing, day one is complete! Phew, you did it. For the first week or two of school I like to do get-to-know-you art projects like All About Me art or name designs. All About Me projects are projects where there is usually a theme or format (like a piece of a puzzle) and children show their personalities and interests within that format.
All projects about me they are always a hit and I have done many over the years. A puzzle piece all about you is fun to make.
All About Me crayons are a fun project for toddlers. I did it in first grade.
Folded Squash books on your students are a great way to get to know them at the start of the year. This project is great for older kids—I’ve done this from 5th grade and up.
Here’s a Knowing You foldout based on art history!
Here is an idea to create trading cards for artists with each card on a 9 sleeve sheet having a thing about you! (and yes, that’s our school’s Artsonia site. You can see lots of artwork from the years if you click on See More Projects. I tend to keep up to date with Artsonia more than my blog. I want parents to be able to able to see many of their children’s art before it is even shipped home. Also, it’s a fantastic fundraiser and digital portfolio! I use it all the time when writing report cards or giving parent-teacher conferences. 10/10 would recommend !)
Name designs are always fun to start the year with. And using the names in their artwork will help you learn all the student names.
Here’s another super fun name design with radial symmetry that I used to teach when I was teaching 5th and 6th graders. It’s a little challenging, so 5th and 6th graders are probably the youngest I’d do it with.
Another option for younger children is to use just the initial of their name and decorate with patterns.
Many teachers start the year with a self-portrait. This can be a great way to get students to make art on themselves, BUT it can be intimidating, so provide plenty of handouts and guidance. Connect an art project to the book All are welcome (affiliate link) and you have a great board ready to go.
Here are a couple more of my Back to School blog posts.
3 Ideas for back to school
Make a video with your own back to school rules!
Do you go back to school? Check out these other blogs for more tips on making this the best year ever!
I recommend these blog posts from some of my art teacher blogger friends! If you’re teaching older kids, like middle or high school, check out Inside Out Art Teacher, Look Between the Lines, and The Speckled Sink.
Growth Mindset in Arts Education– from Glitter Meets Glue
Tips for the first day of school (high school)– how to remember names- from Inside Out Art Teacher
High school organization ideas for new teachers– from The Spotted Sink
7 art teacher tips for back to school– from Look between the lines
Grab attention in class from Expressive Monkey
Top 5 tips, advice, and resources for first-year art teachers– by Mrs. Artastic
Do you have any art projects from Day 1 that you would like to share? Leave a comment below or send me a link to the project idea. I’m always looking for new ideas for my students!