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Here at AOE, we like to tackle touchy subjects. From How-To-Draw books to using teacher samples, we’re not afraid to delve deep into the subjects teachers really think about. That’s why today, I’d love to take on another delicate topic…tracers.
So, is it ever appropriate to use tracers in the art room? For me, the answer to that question is yes, but only in certain circumstances. In fact, in my mind, the only time to use a tracer in the art room is when a tracer provides a necessary size or shape requirement for a project. Let me explain.
When my second graders make coil pots, I have each student start with the same size circle for the bottom. This makes storing the projects easier and allows students to get to the main objective of the project, rolling and attaching coils, much more quickly. Here, the tracer serves a direct purpose: helping me fit all the coil pots on the tray and helping the kids have projects that they can successfully finish in the allotted class time.
Another example is a patterning project that I do with my kindergartners. Students begin by tracing and cutting out a large mitten. Each student is then tasked with creating different kinds of patterns on the mittens using paper shapes. Again, the tracers help students have a large enough surface to explore patterns and have nothing to do with the main objective of the lesson.
So, I’d love to know, when, if ever, do you pull out tracers in the art room?
Are students allowed to use stencils? Let’s talk!