Here's a picture of my kids finishing up their Eric Carle pages. The girl on the left missed a class, so she came up with her own image: Bilbo Baggins. We made fabric pictures last week and she made the Eye of Sauron. I'm guessing she loves JRR Tolkein.
The girl on the right just really wanted to make a Toucan. Now she's adding the forest in the background. All the boys in my class this year made monsters instead of animals. I love that!
I love coming up with projects where kids can feel free to use their imaginations. They come up with such interesting stuff!
Last year, I had a student who was ob-SESSED with Titanic. Everything he did was somehow related to the day it sank. Another student really loved monsters and video games. Each lesson was designed to give each student a creative outlet to share what they loved. At the end of the session, if you flipped through any of my student's sketchbooks, they would all be completely different, and I could probably tell you which one belonged to each kid.
If every sketchbook was a carbon copy of each other, then I have failed as an art teacher. Luckily, I can walk away from this summer session feeling pretty successful that my students' sketchbooks are full of ideas and images that they love.