3 Ways to Create an Art Advocacy Display the First Week of School

Are you thinking about what to do the first week of school to quickly get art up in the hallways? Do you need a way to get students creating but still have them practice classroom procedures? You can easily meet both of these goals during the first week of school by creating an art advocacy display.

Check out these 3 ways to create an art advocacy display with your students the first week of school!

1. “Art Is…” Post-it Notes

art is post it notes

While Post-it notes are an essential office supply, they are also great for art projects. In this activity, your students will get to practice the routines and procedures for being dismissed from their tables, lining up, and being in the hallway while others are learning.

Materials

  • A variety of colorful Post-it notes
  • Pencils
  • Sharpies
  • Markers

Procedures

  • Start with a short discussion about why your students think art is important. This helps get students into the right mindset for this project.
  • Tell students they are going to write a response to the prompt, “Art is…”
  • Let students grab a sticky note and write their response on it.
  • Have students hang their notes in the area you’ve designated for display. Make sure you’ve included an “Art is…” sign, so viewers understand what they’re viewing. Hanging the notes right away ensures they will be sticky. If you stick them all together with plans to hang them later, you might be disappointed with the adhesive.
  • Have students spend a few minutes reading their classmates’ responses.

For the highest impact, have students arrange their notes in a large square or rectangle. Use a variety of bright colors to catch people’s attention!

2. Advocacy Posters

art advocacy poster

Posters are a great way to get attention and share information. Students can use a variety of materials in the classroom to create their own posters communicating the importance of art. Students could work individually or in pairs.

This activity will also allow your students to practice your routines for gathering and putting away various supplies.

Materials

  • 9″ x 12″ white drawing paper
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Watercolors
  • Sharpies
  • Rulers

Procedures

  • Start with a class discussion about why art is important. Try a few essential questions like, “How does art benefit society?” and, “Why is art important to you?”
  • Once you have discussed the importance of art, tell students they will be creating an informational poster to share with others. Tell students to get creative and list at least three to five reasons why art is important through images and text.
  • Give students their paper. You can let students work individually or pair them up.
  • Make sure to have students practice how to get and return supplies according to your classroom procedures.
  • At the end of class, collect the posters. Display them around the school or all together in a large collaborative display.

3. Group Banner

colored pencils

If you want to practice collaboration, have your students create banners to place in areas with large wall space around your school.

Materials

  • Sketch paper
  • Butcher/roll paper (your desired length)
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Sharpies
  • Tempera/acrylic paint

Procedures

  • Before you begin, make sure students have a basic understanding of working with classroom supplies. Make sure they know how to get the supplies as well as put them back. Cleanup will be a great time to re-teach if needed.
  • Have students talk to their table groups about why art is important to them and the world. You can give them a piece of sketch paper to write down their responses.
  • Tell students they are going to work together to create a banner to share the importance of art.
  • Let students work together to create with drawing and/or painting supplies. They can choose which supplies they want from the options you give them.
  • Have students hang their banners in the school.

Each of these activities promotes art advocacy and allows students to take part in sharing their personal views toward art education. This is a great way to spark conversations in school, bring awareness to your art program, and advocate for art overall.

How do you use art lessons to promote art advocacy?

What is your favorite lesson for the first week of school?

Wynita Harmon

Wynita Harmon is an elementary art teacher in Plano, TX. She enjoys providing authentic learning experiences for her students that promote innovation and critical thinking skills.

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  • Darcy J Ferrari

    I am not an art teacher, but I homeschool and was wondering how do you get your kids to be advocates for art. My kids were slightly blank when asked what is important about art, which is disappointing because I think it is important.

    • Amber Billman

      The best way I have found to help students understand why art matters is to begin by helping them see where art is. We talk about design; buildings, our lockers, cars, clothing, interior decorating, gaming, etc. We also talk about how boring it would be without choices. I like to ask who has ever designed their bedroom, has a favorite band, clothing brand, or gaming system. It can be fun to compare kids different tastes. We also talk about what art can mean to us. It’s not just visual but music, dance, and drama as well. You will be hard pressed to find a kid that can’t connect to at least one of those artistic topics!

      • Darcy J Ferrari

        Thanks. Maybe I just have to widen the discussion to things they relate to. Great help. You guys have the greatest job.👍

  • Kristen Lowe

    Do you think this would be good for the first day with all grade levels? I teach middle school art and it’s my first year. I love the idea!