Play is important work. It's how ideas are processed and connections made, yet by high school play is replaced by work, assignments, deadlines and pressure.
Play is still important - exploration is a very "sticky" way to process and store new information - but you have to show them how, because they've forgotten. I call it "experimenting" in my classroom and teach it as part of the Design Thinking Process we use in every lesson.
Here's how we played with chalk!
This is chalk.
You can blend it with your fingers. You can layer it. It's messy and quick and fun.
Here is a chalk artists that inspires me. Why do you think chalk is the media she chooses?
Now, it's your turn. What do you want to make with chalk?
When a table looks like this you can tell students invested in the process of exploring the potential of materials!
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.