Tis the Season!
As an art teacher, it's hard to get away with not doing some holiday themed art projects. My struggle is to keep them from being too crafty where they all look the same while still keeping the kids excited and wanting to share their holiday artwork with their friends and family. In my free time while perusing the internet, I came across this art lesson from another blog--Art Projects for Kids--and decided to adapt it just a tiny bit for my fourth graders.
I started the lesson by having my students make a list on our white board of words that describe the real meaning of Christmas (I discouraged "presents" and "Santa" on this list but that didn't stop from kids saying them). We ended up with a fantastically lengthy list from each of my 4th grade classes. I let the kids know that we were going to be keeping those words in mind in our art project but we were also going to incorporate something else; variety. I introduced them to "variety" and we discussed how you can have variety among lines (through type or thin/thickness) as well as shapes and colors. This is when I showed them what we were making.
I allowed students to trace stencils if they'd like (I created stencils of four shapes of ornaments, trees and crosses) or free hand their images. I asked that they fit at least three items on their paper and start but drawing/tracing with "whisper lines" so we could erase them later. We then filled each shape (regardless of what it was) with at least one word that describes the real meaning of Christmas in an interesting font and the rest of the shape should be filled with lines and shapes while demonstrating "variety." In the end, we erased our "whisper lines" and the goal was that you could still tell what the original shape was without it being outlined or entirely colored in. A few kids still colored their shapes in or outlined them, but for the most part, I think this gave the kids a chance to remember what this season is about and practice using some basic art elements. The drawings came out beautifully and the kids were eager to take them home!