Tuesday, June 4, 2013

5th Grade Art Career Choice Project

When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a paleontologist. I liked art, but my elementary art "program" was hit or miss. I think a parent even volunteered to teach art for a year or two when our art teacher was out due to budget cuts. I had a basic idea of what art was about, but I had no idea that it could actually turn into a job someday. Even throughout high school, I really didn't have a good understanding of how many careers are associated with art. Then I went to Columbus College of Art & Design.

I want my students to know that there are all kinds of art careers that are out there. I designed this project as a way for students to familiarize themselves with art careers and also a culmination of skills from elementary school. 

After learning about various art careers, each student had to fill out a fill out a project proposal sheet. They designed their own project around a specific art career. I wanted my students to have as much input as possible for this project. At the same time, I wanted to make sure each student planned a complex enough project for it to take 5-6 art classes. I reviewed each proposal, made notes for the students, then let them get to work the next class. 

Even with almost every single student doing something entirely different, I was impressed by how smoothly the project ran. The first week was a bit of a struggle helping each student get started with different materials, but the following classes were incredibly smooth. I only wish I had started the project a week or two earlier. We wound up running out of school year before some kids were able to finish. 

A purse made for a little sister.
Painting of birch trees using watercolor and colored pencil.
House model using various papers. Check out the amazing level of detail on the inside!
Baseball team logo redesign.
A fashion line by a very talented girl.
Fashion design - small model.
Personal art museum using miniatures of art he did this year.
Horse sculpture made from sticks. Wow.
Video game cover design.
Watercolor and tempera painting.

Students creating clothing samples.
Writing a game program using characters he developed!
Everyone was super busy with their projects.
I didn't write a true lesson plan for this project due to the fact that it was different for every student. If you want to give this project a try, using the project proposal form with your students would be helpful.


Anonymous said...

Hi there !

I just came upon your blog and love it! Your ideas are so exciting, I would love to adapt some of them for my students for next year.

I teach k-5 in Manhattan, NY. I have a blog but have not updated it at all this year, but plan on getting back on track in September.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Zach Stoller said...

Thanks! I aim for vaguely interesting, so exciting and inspiring are fantastic compliments! Have a great summer!

Brandi B said...

This is my first year teaching art (my 7th year teaching), and the 4th and 5th grade group are the hardest to reach. Our 4th and 5th graders are combined, so I see them together in large groups for 50 minutes once a week. They are pretty much too cool for anything school related at this point, so I'm really digging deep to connect with them. Thank you SO much for sharing this idea! It's the beginning of the year, so it's probably too soon to do this now, but I'm looking forward to doing it this year.

Zach Stoller said...

Good luck with your older groups this year. I've found that projects that aren't solely skill based work best for me. I try to push them to be creative in new ways because kids definitely realize by that age whether they are "good" at art or not. My 5th graders do a stop motion project that is very time consuming that they totally love. I will also be doing linoleum block printing this year with 5th grade. Any new materials that they haven't used in the past are always good ways to get older kids motivated.