Art Day

I was inspired by Cult of Pedagogy to keep my classroom a rigorous, engaging, meaningful classroom environment EVEN on the last week of school.

We usually do theme days during the last week. I stuck with the idea of theme days, but put a little more effort into them so that students' time was valued AND I was still able to wrk on packing up my classroom.

One of our theme days was Art Day, and I think it was one of my favorites!!

I decided to do the most structured activity first before students got too fatigued. This is a project that third grade has done for years, so I adopted it from my wonderful teammates!

First, students trace their hand. I modeled to show them how I wanted it to look so that their hand and wrist took up a large amount of space on the page. Next, students created a border of some kind. Then, they decorated the border and their hand. Some designs were realistic, while others were more abstract. Last, they filled in the white space with writing all about third grade: favorite memories, what they learned, what future third graders need to know, etc.

I kept these, and I'll be displaying them when my new third graders and their families come for Sneak Peek in August!

There's ALWAYS a book to match your topic, right?! Both of these books are from my diverse books collection, and I pulled them out to go with Art Day. Both were hits, and were perfect for reviewing those basic reading skills like main idea, character traits, and making connections!

Amazon affiliate links:
Magic Trash
Fancy Party Gowns 

After we read together, students got to do some research on their own. I chose 6 artists that represented diverse backgrounds and that I was also able to find lots of information on using school-provided online resources. Students were given about half an hour to explore and write down any interesting facts that they discovered.

Artists we researched: 
Georgia O'Keefe
Pablo Picasso
Maurice Sendak
Frida Kahlo
Kadir Nelson
Maya Lin

Resources we used: 
BrainPop & BrainPop Junior (subscription required)
PebbleGo (subscription required)
Epic! (free for educators but must create an account)
KidRex (kid-friendly search engine)

At the end of the day, we did some paper engineering inspired by Ashley over at Talkin' Piñata Teaching.

This activity allowed students to socialize with their friends and explore art while also problem-solving and stretching their creativity.

At the end of the day, students who had finished their paper engineering projects had the option to continue reading and research OR make a thank you card for a staff member.

Like I said, I think Art Day was my favorite. Students had a great time and learned a ton, but I was still able to get lots of end-of-year work done.

It was even better than Movie Day!

Try it out, then let me know how it goes.

Happy teaching!

**This post contains Amazon affiliate links. By purchasing an item from Amazon using these links,  I will receive a small commission on your purchase. I use that commission to keep my blog up and running. Thank you!**

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