I've been annoyed for the past few weeks because I'm out of clay and materials for screen printing. Since I didn't have the materials I needed to teach the clay and printmaking Bootcamps I wanted to use in my Art 1 class, I had to rethink my plans. I decided to teach a short Bootcamp that combined collage and printmaking.
Collage and Printmaking Bootcamp
Day 1: Engage and Explore
I started this Bootcamp by asking kids to think about their previous experiences with collage and printmaking. My students remembered formulaic lessons from elementary school - things like handprint turkeys and gluing together pre-cut shapes. So when I showed them this video their peridigm shifted, which was my goal.
As kids watched the video, I had them list techniques and materials they saw the artist use. Next, I showed the class this presentation, as we continued listing and discussing the approaches the featured artists used.
We identified the following techniques:
- Combining small parts to create a new image.
- Juxtaposing large images to make new meaning.
- Using magazine images.
- Cutting paper or painted paper.
- Tearing and combining drawings.
- Layering with paint, drawing or printmaking.
Next, I had the class rotate through four centers, spending around 15 minutes at each, with the goal of research different collage methods as part of planning their own work.
*These kids are familiar with this style of learning, which allows me to shorten the time spent at centers.
Days 2 and 3
I started day two with a short group activity. Kids shared what they were inspired by dring day 1, as well as any plans they had for the self-directed collage they would start work on today. I assigned group roles for this activity - a facilitator to make sure everyone shares, a recorder to summarize the conversation and one or two reporters who presented a summary of the group's conversation with the whole class at the end.
After this quick planning activity the class got to work on collages of their own design.
I'm proud of the results from this Bootcamp. The work made was personal, diverse and interesting, but the shift in how my kids think is just as important. It's our third and last Bootcamp of Art 1 and my students have learned how to use the Artistic Thinking Process (ATP) to work independently to create art. I've been extremely consistent with using the language and structure of ATP in all we've done so far and it's resulting in almost universal confidence. Over the last few days I saw everyone invest in the experimentation I offered in centers, then easily apply what they discovered to their own work. Next week we'll start what i've designed everything to support; investigating broad themes with open choice of media and process.
I'm an high school art teacher who's really interested in student choice and creating opportunities for self expression. I'm also a writer for The Art of Education and co-author of The Open Art Room.