How to Get Your Students to Talk About Art at Home

Sure, when your students are in the art room you expect to hear them using new art vocabulary and reflecting deeply on their work, but what about when they go home?

As students spill out of the building and race toward their parents’ minivans, one of the first questions parents will ask is, “So, what did you learn today?”

Why not equip your students with a way to answer that question impressively? With confidence, ease, and authenticity?

Feel free to download the template I’ve shared here to encourage more mindful student-caregiver discussions.

what's going on in the art room1

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There are many benefits.

  1. Students show off what they know and bask in the glow.
  2. Parents see kids getting a serious art education.
  3. It helps parents ask more thoughtful and directed questions which, in turn, generates deeper reflection for the student.
  4. You get to reinforce what was taught in your classroom.

Periodically, I will also send home a reminder about what kind of questions parents should ask children about their art to get conversations flowing. Jamie Hand, of the blog Handmade Kids Art, shares these “10 Great Questions To Ask Your Children About Their Art” which is another great resource.

I share this link with parents and caregivers. It reminds them that asking the RIGHT question is essential… and much more fruitful! Parents don’t realize their well-intended compliments like, “That’s beautiful!” or “Wow!” are conversation enders instead of conversation starters. It’s a missed opportunity to connect with their child when they use those pat responses. It’s up to you to show them a better way!

painting with speech bubbles

Open-ended questions often act as gateways to magical conversations. Asking better questions is not just an art skill, it goes beyond our classroom. It’s about recognition and engagement. It’s about showing you value what goes on in the minds of your children.

If you want another way to make sure your students are talking about art class at home, try using short positive experiences, or SPE’s in your teaching toolbox. Not sure what that means? Join well-known blogger Nic Hahn at the Winter 2017 Art Ed Now Conference to learn how the technique can get your students learning and having fun at the same time!

How do you share what’s happening in the art room?

What questions do you wish parents would ask their child about their 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.


Lee Ten Hoeve

Lee Ten Hoeve, an elementary and middle school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She is passionate about making art a core subject and employing curiosity to engage learners.

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