Even in this digital age, it is important for teachers to help students develop an appreciation for art. In some cases, art helps to reach students who otherwise might be hard to motivate in a traditional manner. Art also allows more academic students to explore their creative sides.
Here are five art projects that teachers can use to incorporate art into the middle school curriculum.
Figure vase painting
A history or social studies teacher might spend an entire unit on the civilization of Ancient Greece. This is a perfect opportunity to incorporate art appreciation, as teachers can have their students create an Ancient Greek art project. A good project to start with is a figure vase painting. This is was a popular form of art in Ancient Greece, and helped to tell the history of the people.
Build newspaper towers
It may seem like math might be a subject that does not lend itself to art projects, but that is not always true. After a geometry lesson have students use rolled up newspapers to create their own towers. Have them take measurements of angles and then test the ultimate stability of the tower. This can be either a group project or an individual project.
Create paper mache puppets
For teachers who want to incorporate art into their English curriculum, this is the perfect project. After students read their first Shakespeare play, ask each student to create a paper Mache puppet of one of the characters. This gives students an opportunity to visualize the characters and interpret the play.
Aboriginal art project
After studying about the Australian aboriginal people and learning about the dot art that they created, teachers can ask students to create their own dot art. Start by giving students a particular theme to work with, such as creating a self-portrait or creating a piece that reflects their favorite place. When the project is finished, students should share their works with the class and explain why they chose a particular look or focus.
Animal clay project
After teachers spend time introducing a certain group of animals during a science lesson, there is an easy opportunity to include art in the curriculum. Ask each student to choose a different animal, and create a replica out of clay using their science books and the information they learned about that species for reference.
As school funding continues to dwindle and school districts begin to trim art and music programs, using these creative ideas can help teachers ensure that art appreciation is still a part of the middle school curriculum.