The holiday season is a busy time inside and outside of the classroom. At some point, you’ve probably been asked to create a holiday-related project in the art room. These requests don’t always fit into the art room curriculum, and that’s okay. However, the holidays are the season of giving, and what’s better than giving back by showing off the amazing work of your students?
Learn how you and your students can advocate for and promote your art program this holiday season. Here are a few ideas to get started!
1. Create Artwork for Your District’s Holiday Card
Many school districts send holiday cards throughout the community as a way to thank local businesses and supporters. If you want to showcase the many talents of your students, consider having them create artwork for these cards. Start by contacting your Communications Director or another appropriate role for your school district early in the school year. We aren’t usually thinking of the upcoming winter holidays in August or September, but this type of project takes proper planning to ensure the cards can be created, printed, and distributed on time.
If you’re feeling like this type of project doesn’t fit well with your curriculum, try giving your students some choice in how to approach it.
Here are a few ideas to get your students involved in creating the artwork.
- Students can create submissions outside of class time.
- Students can create submissions as an early finisher project.
- Students can collaborate and work together to create an artwork.
Teaching about holidays in public schools can be tricky, but students can choose to share their religious and cultural beliefs through artwork. Having a representation of the holidays celebrated by your student body adds to the cultural identity of your school community. Using the simple form of a holiday card with student artwork will promote the amazing things happening in your art program.
2. Create a Gift for Staff Members
At times, being an art teacher can feel like you are trapped on an island. Unlike most teachers in your school, there aren’t always multiple art teachers in the same building. This can make it difficult for other staff members to understand and see the creative and innovative ideas coming from the art room. An easy way to inform your fellow staff members about the happenings in the art room is to create gifts for them! When including all of the staff members in your school, the numbers can add up. The key to making this effective is to work on a smaller scale or with a process that focuses on replication or repetition.
Here are two ideas your students can create.
1. Clay Magnets with Stamp Textures
Clay is the perfect medium for creating decorative magnets or ornaments. To expedite the process, consider making stamps first to decorate items quickly. If you create the stamps at the beginning of a ceramics unit, the students can also continue to use them throughout a series of projects.
If you want to take things a step further, show off your students’ innovative technical skills by creating 3-D printed stamps. Whether you use clay or 3-D printing, consider creating a school-related stamp that can be used to unify the objects. Include a hole at the top if you want to hang with string, or glue a small magnet to the back. When delivering the gifts to the teachers, it’s important to attach a tag describing the work your students created. Doing this will help staff members understand all the work that went into the process.
2. Monoprint Messages
Another way to share the amazing work of your students with your administration and staff is by sharing work with positive affirmations and sayings. Printmaking is a natural fit since you can make multiple copies and teach your students about the production process.
For a super simple take on this project, start with monoprints and have students add sayings over the top once dry. Consider using tracing paper for the text so students can produce multiple prints.
Promoting your art program doesn’t need to be difficult. If you struggle to find ways to showcase the amazing work of your students, consider using the holiday season to your advantage by trying out one of these ideas. During the season of giving challenge yourself and your students to share artwork keeping others in mind.
Do you use the holiday season to promote your art program?
What’s the best way to advocate for your art program?
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.