As an elementary art teacher, I find Spring to be bittersweet. I am ready to rush out the door and enjoy summer vacation, but I also find it very hard to say goodbye to my students, especially my 5th-graders. After working with them and watching them grow for 6 years, I can honestly say that I will miss them (well, most of them anyway!).
This is why I designed a new tradition called “Leave Your Mark!” In a nutshell, students are given the opportunity to submit a design and paint a large canvas that will be displayed at our building for the next year. I purchased five 48 x 24 canvases with some fundraising money that hang in our halls outside the Art, Music, PE, Library and Counselor’s room. Students submit a design, individually, in pairs, or in groups and then work on their own time to complete the canvas. The finished products are revealed at 5th grade graduation and hung in the halls for the following school year.
I have had great success with this program. Students are motivated and driven to work before and after school or at recess through the month of May in order to complete their piece. They learn to work together and are held to a high level of responsibility.
Do you have any legacy programs for your students at the end of the year?
How to your students ‘leave their mark’ through art?