Fourth grade students created collaborative art by playing a mixed media game. They used the materials they had selected from cards in a cup, then switched to a new piece of artwork and used a new art supply.
- 9″ x 12″ watercolor paper
- Any supplies you have available, I used:
- Neon colored pencils
- Metallic Paint
- Colored pencils
- Oil pastels
- Tempera paints
- Metallic colored pencils
- Neon oil pastels
- Metallic sharpie
In the last 6 weeks of school, I’m always trying to think of new ways to keep the kids engaged. This year, I decided to create an art game that would allow my students to revisit the materials we have used through out the year. I put a collaborative twist on it to keep the experience fresh and exciting.
I created the cards using the Avery template for 1 1/4″ x 3 3/4″ labels (Template #6879). It was such a helpful shortcut and saved me from spending a bunch of time creating my own template in Word. After thinking through which supplies we had used, and adding a few surprises, I printed out a set on card-stock for each table. After trying it out with one class, I realized it was helpful to mark the backs of the cards to match each table so that lost cards could easily be reunited with their group.
Before we started, I explained how the game would work and we had a discussion about responsibility. I emphasized that everyone was responsible for respecting each others work. We talked through examples about the different between destroying someone’s contribution and building on it. (Painting black paint over what someone had drawn would be destroying it, but paint small black lines on dots on top would be building on it.)
For the first class, they picked a card out of their cup and everyone at their table used that art supply for about 10 minutes. Then they switched artwork with someone at their table, drew another card out of the cup and worked on their new piece for 10 more minutes. At the end of class, I had them trade with someone from a different table.
Over the next 2-3 classes, I tried to mix up how I had them get new artwork. At the beginning of one class, I held all the art upside down and handed one to each student as they walked in. I also had them walk around the room while music was playing and then sit at the closest painting once it stopped. Sometimes they would work for just 5 minutes, sometimes they would work for 20. For the 5 minute rotations, I would have them keep the art supplies out and then either switch to a different table (carrying their artwork with them) or keep using the same art supplies at their table, but switch to a new piece of art.
I also tried to mix up the directions. Depending on how the art was looking over all, I might let them choose which table to go to, but they had to focus on finishing part of the artwork that was unfinished (not start something new.) On the last day, I started out by having them dump all of the cards they had left at their table and choosing one medium as a group to use. After that, we ended the project with every student getting to choose any supplies they thought they needed to finish the artwork they were currently working on.
During our reflection, the kids had some great insights about how the game could be developed in the future. One idea that I’m excited to try out is to have the first kid write on the back of the paper what the subject of the artwork was going to be. They noticed that the majority of the projects ended up being abstract and thought it would be interesting to have a realistic theme for some of the artwork.