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Once you begin using sketchbooks with all levels, you will realize what you have been missing. Eventually, you will say to yourself, “Why wasn’t I doing this the whole time!?”
Creating sketchbooks with your elementary students can save your sanity. If you aren’t already utilizing sketchbooks, you may find starting the school year with sketchbooks in your elementary classroom may be just the right addition.
There are so many different ways to use sketchbooks in the art room. But first, you need to figure out how you are going to get the sketchbooks. You may choose to purchase spiral notebooks. You may ask students to bring in an art sketchbook as part of their school supply list. You may ask the PTO to provide the funds for fancy sketchbooks. Or, you may choose a more fun route and create sketchbooks using basic art materials! Check out this video to see how.
In art, kids want to get messy! The best way to begin sketchbooks is to make covers. This is especially applicable at the beginning of the school year when students have been going over expectations and routines. Take a fun brain break for two minutes and get students creating their own unique piece of art to serve as their sketchbook protection for the rest of the school year.
After the covers are made, decide what goes inside the students’ sketchbooks. You can keep it simple by stapling in a stack of copy paper or newsprint. You can also use a three-hole punch and paper fasteners if you want to be able to add paper easily. Finally, add some gems or easily-adhered “treasures” to make them even more personal.
Use these downloadable templates to add to your sketchbooks.
Creating sketchbooks with your students can offer a sense of ownership and pride while creating a safe place to make mistakes. Starting a sketchbook tradition with your elementary students can be fun, easy, and effective! Use these tips to help your elementary students learn to use sketchbooks this year!
Have you ever created sketchbooks in an elementary classroom?
What could you add to your student’s sketchbooks to make them more meaningful?
What other materials could you use to make your own sketchbooks?
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.