They are set, kids are drawing, and as much as I want to be able to say YAY and WOOHOO..............I just can't get past the the crazy mess my classroom becomes when still life season descends. My desk becomes covered...and it stays covered pretty much for the remainder of the year after this...........supplies are misplaced by students and myself........projects get placed in nooks and crannies from my advanced kids...... and the room becomes almost claustrophobic.
This year I handed boxes filled with items to my students and asked them to set the displays. We spent approximately 2 full days arranging, rearranging, and evaluating each others displays. I am very happy with giving them ownership of the process. There are a total of 7 still life displays available for the students to choose from. As we normally do, we started off creating thumbnails to help narrow their choices down. But this time I also asked my students to use their cell phones to develop and choose their final compositions.
One of the bonuses to using the technology is that many of the students can send their images to my school email and we can print them in black and white to further explore values. For students who don't have this technology we have a classroom camera that they can use to snap their composition and print it out.
Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I don't see a value in the still life process. On the contrary, I think it is an essential part of any art program, just like color theory, 3-d explorations, and other areas of art. Students need to be able to learn to use their observational skills and refine them. It helps them to develop and create important details in other art areas and disciplines. Developing the ability to identify details is a skill that can be used in many professions. I just have a hard time with all of the crazy disarray and piling that occurs with the set ups in the room.