May 19, 2013
I find that incorporating choice is a great way to help students be enthusiastic about an art lesson—often the more prescriptive a lesson is, the harder it is to engage students. Another great benefit of lessons with choice is that the resulting art is obviously more varied and interesting to look at—it's a bit unexciting to see a classroom wall adorned with up to 30 very similar artworks.
Recently I was with this year 3 class for a session in the computer lab. This simple "doodlish pattern" task included two basic choices. The first step (and choice) was to cover their page/screen/image in either straight or curvy lines. The second step (and choice) was to paint in the resulting segments using either all cool colours, all warm colours or all tints and shades of a single colour. As you can see a few students felt even that was too restrictive!