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I’m 90% sure my students think I am crazy. Really, at this point, I don’t think they’re even phased by the ridiculousness that comes from the art room. How often do you feel like you are a clown performing at the circus? Probably more often than you’d like to admit! But we do it for our students, for the sake of engagement.
We’ve reached the time of year where student focus can be tough. Teachers are worn out and looking for ways to excite learning again. If you’re looking for a fun way to engage all students, let your students be action spies for the day by setting up a string laser maze. Find a place, either your classroom, a place outside, or a low-traffic hallway to set up your laser maze. All you need is a little masking tape and yarn to get started–your students will do the rest!
Gesture drawing is one of those activities that is really important to the drawing process. However, it can be difficult to get your students excited about it. Instead of just having your students sit to be drawn, let them strike a pose in the string laser maze! As a result, you will find your students excited by the process. They’ll even come up with some pretty funky poses as they’re making their way through the maze.
If you teach a digital art or graphic design class, you know students love to edit photos. They find it exhilarating to Photoshop an image into an entirely new scene. They especially find this interesting when the image is of themselves or their classmates. Try spending a day snapping pictures in your string laser maze. These images will serve as a great subject for students to practice their photo manipulation skills.
Use your string laser maze to create a traditional drawing project. There are many possibilities to explore. Use reference photos to practice the grid method and refine drawing skills. Concepts of movement, value, and emphasis are also areas to focus on while creating a drawing based off your string laser maze.
If you find yourself needing a little inspiration to excite the art-making process, try one of these ideas. Even if you only set up a string laser maze for a day, your students will enjoy the experience of being an action spy!
What is the most engaging project you’ve ever done?
What strategies do you use to keep your students excited about making art?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.