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3 Ways to Inspire Students Over the Summer

It is my hope that when students leave the art room at the end of the year, they will continue to create art over the summer. Today I’d like to share three simple ways to inspire students to do just that.

1. Send them home with a sketchbook

Making sketchbooks is a great end-of-the year project. It can be as simple as stapling computer paper into a construction paper cover, or as fancy as creating special batik paper for a more professional look. Either way, a homemade sketchbook is a great resource for students to have. Here is an example of a sketchbook project I did with my fourth graders.

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2. Use your classroom website to post art activities

If you’re already communicating with students online, consider continuing over the summer! Whatever platform you use, your students will love keeping up with you when school is out. Last summer, I ran a fun program through my classroom blog, which I called Masterpiece Monday. The premise was simple. Each Monday I created a post that told a bit about an artist and one of his or her masterpieces. I also developed a simple, inexpensive project inspired by each piece that students could do at home. They loved it! Here is a screen shot of one of the Masterpiece Monday posts I created about Roy Lictenstein. If you’d like to see the project that went along with it and view the rest of the Masterpiece Monday posts, click here.

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3. Provide students with a list of places to make or see art in the community

Providing students with opportunities to connect with local artists is extremely valuable. A quick Google search should be all you need to get started compiling a list of galleries and art studios in your area. You could distribute your list at the end of the year or post it on your classroom website or blog. Last summer, I ran a feature called Free Art Friday, which highlighted free places to view art around Wisconsin.

 Tell us, how do you inspire students to continue with art over the summer?

Do you keep in touch with students, or do you prefer to take a break?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors from across the nation and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University or any of its academic offerings.

Amanda Heyn is the Director of K-12 Professional Development at The Art of Education. She enjoys helping to create relevant, engaging PD just for art teachers.

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