First day of art class! My Visual Arts class is a good mix of 9-12th grade students. I have had the juniors and younger, but its been since they were in fifth grade. Most of these students have not had art since they were in elementary school. I wanted a good project that was not too intimidating, but still allowed them to work on something throughout the class period.
As for me, I needed to know where they were. I also needed them to know how the rubric was going to work. We briefly talked about grading and I explained they would get a detailed rubric at the start of each project, and that everything they needed to know would be on it to get a good grade.
I introduced the project: Cardboard Relief Self Portraits. I didn't go into too much detail about how it was made; again, I needed to see what they could do on their own. Theses were their requirements: It had to be their face, have at least two different kind of textures, had to be a relief, and pencils could only be use to draw the shape they were cutting out (not shading). It also HAD to be finished at the end of class. I passed out their rubrics and they began!
At the end of class I had the kids grade themselves on their rubric. Some were surprised as to their grade. Some thought they would not be able to do this project well, but did and scored well. Some are very artistic but didn't score too well. I explained that I did not at all want to trick students, but that it was important for them to know during the week what is expected. I also wanted students to know that they would be fully prepared for the project (unlike just letting them at it!) and that I am NOT grading on how beautiful a project looks at the end.
A part of the rubric included time management and using class time wisely. We talked about the differences in examples: sometimes student can cut up and waste class time that way. However, sometimes, its not that at all! Sometimes we get "Art block" and don't know where to start. Sometimes we plan WAY too big of a project for the time period allotted. I wanted to them to be fully away of the circumstances that can get in the way of making ART!
And then, of course, some students got completely wrapped up in their project and forgot completely about their requirements. This was a great one-day lesson to introduce rubrics in Art, and to assess where the students are, and in the end, to make a really fun self-portrait. The best part? We used up all my supply boxes from the art order!