when I started though, I didn't have much in the way of tested, structured, thoughtful lessons, so I bought this book, Making Amazing Art: 40 Activities Using the 7 Elements of Art Design with the focus that year on getting down to basics (as the six classes I had that year, NEVER had art with a "real teacher.")
one of the most successful lessons I did that year was "Visual Music."
the element of art we talked about was line. how not only does it help us make a contour line drawing, but also shows emotion, movement, and even sound. that year, as I did this year, I asked students, if they had permission, to bring in their instruments. it worked out to be a band day this year! I also brought in an electric guitar and finally grabbed the attention of some of those 6th grade boys! we spent a day talking about line and sound and music, and sketching out our ideas, observing what we brought in. I even played a compilation of "abstract" music so we could "hear" many different lines.
the next class, students were allowed to choose whether their final would be watercolor painting or oil pastel drawing. we just spent about a month on a tempera painting and I know some kids needed a break from paint. those who watercolored drew with sharpie first. those who oil pasteled, outlined with black crayon first. these are the results:
after this lesson, I decided that I really like the look of the liquid watercolor and sharpie line. its nice and graphic. I hope to recreate that feel with the "For Baby" illustrations with 4th and 5th grade. I also have to apologize for the quality of pictures... I don't know what I took them by the window. it washed out some of the color. I will have to take a picture of the display I put up yesterday outside the music room.