Sketchbooks are a vital tool and practice for the art room and you can purchase them or make them. Incorporating simple bookbinding techniques is a great way to get students hands-on during the first week of school. It instills ownership in their drawing journey, introduces simple bookbinding techniques, and refines fine motor skills.
Here are some tips for making your own sketchbooks:
- Use binder clips and copy paper.
- Recycle scrap paper and discarded artwork for sketchbook pages.
- Use binder rings and a hole punch.
- Collect cardboard cereal boxes for covers.
- Use pocket folders with metal prongs.
Provide pre-made pages for students to include in their sketchbooks. While this may take a little more intentionality and planning upfront, it will be less work once the school year gets hectic—your students will have activities loaded and ready to go!
Here are some examples of pre-made pages:
- Blank tables or charts for students to make value scales with different mediums and techniques.
- Simple shapes students can shade with different color schemes and mediums.
- Finish the picture prompts for students to tap into creative thinking.
- Blank pages for practice space, drawing prompts, and sketchnotes.
- Blank squares and rectangles for thumbnail sketches.
- Artist Bios from FLEX Curriculum for students to read and annotate.
- Lined pages for notes and reflection.
- Elements and Principles of Art handouts for students to reference all year.
- Coloring pages that capture a classroom mantra.
Drawing prompts are a great way to get students to use their sketchbooks! Post one each day to warm up students’ creative drawing muscles. Add one as a pre-made sketchbook page for students to select from as an early finisher activity.
Here are tons of drawing prompts so you don’t have to start from the ground up:
Get more sketchbook support in the Sketchbook Ideas that Really Work Pack in PRO Learning.
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