Lost Sock Creations

Lost Sock Creations
what it's all about...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Art Class Journaling

This 2013-14 is going to be my 10th year teaching art to middle schoolers!
I have struggled to find ways every year to keep kids productive during free time. 
I liked giving them the option of doing art during this time to get extra booster grades. But I still wanted to reward them at the same time if they were on task and finished early. The problem rooted where students would turn in poor work just to have free time, then in the process would get low grades in art (by fault of their own choices) and I would run into more discipline problems as well. I struggled with trying to teach them that what they choose to do in their free time would lead to different results, hoping they would choose wisely. Unfortunately, I have realized that most middle school students are not really ready to make these choices wisely. Since I do not want to see failure or idleness in my class any longer! I have decided to require them to journal in their free time to hopefully change the pattern. 

From now on, I am requiring each art student to carry a spiral notebook 
to use for multiple things in the class;
Class notes, instruction, sketches, thoughts, inspiration, and free work.
It is a way to stay organized with their artistic ideas and have a place to turn to stay productive.

I decided to give them a new topic every week (total 36).

Well... That was the plan... But... 
You know... ;)
We made it to 22 topics!

If they finish their work early, they will be expected to grab their journal and begin on their weekly sketch.
If they do not finish early, they will be expected to do it for homework.
The earlier they finish their class work, the higher my expectation I will have for journal because they had more time to work on it.

I want to begin the year by taking notes on how we use supplies in the MMS art room. 
I will have them write as they go and encourage them to illustrate their paper as well. 
Writing the rules will allow them to refer back to them and enforce it to their creative memory.

We use lettering ALOT in my art class. 
I want to start off the basics of forming letters with them at the beginning of the year. 

A beginners guide to lettering is a lesson I will teach for journaling. 
I will have the students take these notes in their journals in order to get them started on the next entry...

Write your name in 10 different styles...

5 Things you are Thankful For...

LInes on LInes...
Each line on the notebook spiral will contain a new line design.
Bucket list 
Students draw a 3d bucket and fill it up creatively with at least 10 things they want to do before they graduate and get too old to be cool! 

Larry's SprayCan 6th grade

What do you want to SprAY?
Use the step by step guide to drawing a spray can 
from www.youtube.com/drawstuffrealeasy
Then draw on the can what you wish you could spray out everywhere in unlimited amounts to say to the world, make your mark!  

This is supposed to look like the students drew all over their page and then laid their pencil on top of the drawing. The drawing should be 2D while the pencil will appear 3D in comparison. 
Draw a large pencil in your journal with your pencil. 
Make it appear 3d by blending darker colors at bottom and casting a shadow with grey. 
Develop drawings below to keep the 2D look on the paper. 
Use M.C. Escher's Drawing Hands picture as an example of 3D on top of 2D.

Caricature of You
These are a funny , goofy, exaggerated, and humors versions of ourselves. Take a feature you love or hate about yourself and flare it up! Make you even more "you" than reality! 

Head in the Clouds
Here it is ok to have a cloudy brain...
Draw clouds filling up the page focusing on variety of style here.
Be free, be cartoonish, be wild, be abstract, be realisitc... just draw clouds. 

This is writing a message using pictures as a code or puzzle... 
For example, "Dear Pam" could be done by drawing a deer and then drawing a Jar of Jam with the formula P+ Jar of Jam-J... 
This gets cryptic, so they need to include the key on back of note. 

Inspiritaion Pocket
or Idea Pouch...
I have a worksheet for them to create the pocket. It is basically just a rectangle with a tab on right, left, and bottom. They are supposed to decorate the pouch front, cut it out then fold tabs under and apply glue to them. Then lay the pocket in the book. It is a place for them to keep ideas in for their free time journaling.
Fabulous Fancy Frame
Sometimes we find a frame for out art that is more fancy than the art itself. 
Frames can be intricately detailed and fabulously fancy at times. 
This entry gets the students to focus on designing a frame that is art itself. 
Leave the center open...

Eye Collage and Eye Drawing...
Students find big human eyes in magazines. Variety is good (profile, closed, open, etc).
They glue the eyes on the left side of the journal and draw them on the right. 

Monster Morph
Students use the space to make mulitple monsters or to make on bigger detailed monster.
They morph parts from animals together to create monsters. 
They can outline, color, or shade after done...
Journal Entry #21
What would you eat if it was your last meal or the meal you would eat for eternity?

Journal #22
Tree Doodle Journal Entry
Draw a tree creatively...
Teacher Example
Cody R. 7th grade 2014

Ranger T. 7th grade 2014

Seth K. 7th grade

There will be more to come as I work more and more during toddler naps...


  1. LOVE!!! This is similar to what I have also done in my classroom. I have them keep a 3 ring binder with 2 sketches due each week...but also have "assigned" work that does include journaling or using our WONDERFUL Art books. They have wonderful sketchbook journals that go with the elements and principles. Thank you for sharing!!! I have a feeling I will LOVE your blog!

  2. I think I might try a similar technique this year for art and crafts class. Hard to keep them engaged during idle time. Last year I tried journaling, didn't quite work out the way I planned. Thanks for sharing , I will be following your blog. Every little bit helps!!! Thanks :~D

  3. I too plan to use a sketchbook/journal this year. Last year when the kids had extra time I asked them to use it practicing their drawing/cartooning skills and had paper, pens, pencils and Zentangle tutorial cards available for them to use. It worked ok-they talked and visited while they were drawing...so it seemed half-focused. One cool thing was they ended up watching and teaching each other how to draw cartoons.
    This year we are making sketchbooks on the first class and I hope to use them for a daily sketch assignment and for sketching concepts/ideas from the new lesson. Last year when the kids drew sketches for the class that were loose (not part of a sketchbook)they didn't want to hassle with keeping them- http://floridacreate.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-statues-of-easter-island-rapa-nui.html

    I'm hoping that using the sketchbook will help them value the process and see that it is like a record of the year they can reflect back on.

    I like your idea of working on the lettering and am going to have the kids create their initials on their sketchbook cover. I'm hoping to have them fill in the letters with Zentangle patterns.

    Thnaks for sharing and Have a great year!

  4. I wish I had found this site a month ago!

    I am a new "art teacher" (in the loosest sense of the word) - basically, I said to the principal that I loved my art classes in middle school and it was important to have in our school, even though there we couldn't find a teacher... a week later it was my job.

    Barely keeping one step ahead of them!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Our art teacher had a family emergency that forced her to quit at Christmas. She was not replaced, so we had to take over teaching our own art periods. Some of your journal projects will work great for now. I am looking forward to going through your other posts over the summer so that the kids will have quality art projects to do!

  6. Excellent ideas! I will definitely be using these for our warm ups and such! Love your blog and your artwork! It has been an inspiring breath of fresh air.

  7. Do you assess this? If not, does anyone have a journal rubric?

  8. I know I already commented, but I seriously love this! I've already used the "Draw your name ten different ways" and the Bucket List and the kids loooooooveee it! You have a real gift for teaching art, so I thank you for sharing with the world! <3 <3 <3

  9. Love your blog! I used a lot of your ideas for keeping an art journal with my students this past semester, and it worked beautifully!! I would dearly love to have a link to your page from my class blog so everyone can see where the ideas came from. Would you mind?

  10. I posted a comment back in August when I first found your warmup post. I had to re-comment just to let you know how truly WONDERFUL doing warmups have been in my classroom. In so many ways... helping drawing skills, building confidence, content mastery, classroom management... the list goes on!! I've done several of your warmups and have shared your blog site with many people in the past few months.My kids really look forward to Monday in my class which is the day we start a new warmup for the rest of the week. Seriously! Your post has changed my (teaching) life! hahah! thank you so much for taking the time to post this

  11. Thank you for sharing such great information. can you help me in finding out more detail on cbse schools sector 57

  12. The reason why this is said is because the way a sock is used makes it more vulnerable to the agitator or punch action made by machines.

    hand knit wool socks