Helping Students Plan Artwork

Instructional Strategies


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Introduction 1:10

The Importance of Thumbnails in the Classroom

Using the 5Cs 4:14

Examples of Student Work 4:05

Variety of Thumbnail Methods 9:03

Thumbnail Making Examples 8:09

Points of Departure

Using Prompts as Points of Departure 10:13

The Funnel Effect 6:03

Why Thumbnail Layout Matters

Organizing Visual Elements 6:51

Arranging Student Ideas 7:25

Thumbnails as Finished Works

New Approaches to Thumbnails 5:32

Physical and Conceptual Layers Through Thumbnails 4:21

Photographing and Revamping 3:06

Pushing Ideas

Stretching Ideas Past the Obvious 4:29

Creating a Personal Aesthetic 6:09

Feedback and Revision

Importance of Thumbnails in the Grading Process 3:44


Conclusion 4:05

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Helping Students Plan Artwork

4 PD Hours

  • 1 Discover why thumbnails are a critical element of planning.

  • 2 Explore the "5 Cs of art making"- composition, complexity, content, color and contrast.

  • 3 Find out how the "funnel effect" can help guide students through open-ended lessons.

Planning is an essential part of the art making process; however, students often want to bypass this critical component and dive right into making art. In this Learning Pack, review the stages of successfully using thumbnails and guiding students through the revision process. Then, find out how to use critique as an extension to that revision process.

Connected Professional Art Educator Competencies
3.1 Effectively paces lessons to facilitate student learning
3.2 Communicates effectively with students

3.10 Considers multiple intelligences when planning instruction 
3.11 Considers students’ background knowledge and ability levels when planning instruction

Connected National Visual Arts Standards
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work.

Nicole Brisco

Nicole Brisco

High School Art Teacher and PRO Facilitator

Nicole Brisco has been a visual arts educator in Texas for over 20 years.  Her background in portfolio and curriculum development has afforded her the opportunity to work with educators across the country enhancing art practices.  She was named the Texas Secondary Art Teacher of the Year, the Texas Humanities Educator of the Year, and the National Secondary Art Educator of the Year.  She is a practicing artist, and has served on state and national boards.  She has a passion for art educators and the impact it has on students.  


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