Art is an innate gift that needs to be stirred and natured if you must make something out of it. The earlier you work on your artistic gifts, the better. But this is not to say that art cannot be learned. Far from it. Art is a skill that is taught and learned in most schools through art and craft lessons.
Just like most other things, it takes discipline and practice. No one is born an athlete yet through constant practice and some certain level of discipline, most athletes set records that are so hard to break in their lifetime! Therefore, both creativity and skills need to be fostered from a young age until it becomes a natural part of the artist.
This brings us to the need to teach your middle school child some artistic skills. You never know, they could be the next Michelangelo! Luckily, most schools now offer art as a basic subject. This should be enough to spark your child’s interests.
Here are some examples of fun middle school art projects you should consider enrolling your child in.
1. Camouflage Drawing
Most children love fun activities and they often get overstimulated whenever they have a chance to participate. Camouflage drawing is such an excellent fun art project for middle school. It fosters creativity and encourages diverse thinking. If you are working with a group of students, you will soon notice the creativity diversity.
Give your students some designs and let them take in whatever they see. Introduce colorings. Students at this age love colors and coloring. Challenge the students to add their own similar designs. Within no time, you will see sparked interests and creative thinking coming to life.
2. Color Mixing
As mentioned above, students at this stage of love are aroused by different colors. Coloring, therefore, will be a welcome idea other than sitting through a math class on a hot afternoon. Exploring and playing are some of the best ways to learn and to sharpen critical thinking especially among the students.
Teach your students to use color mixing to solve problems and to explore new avenues. Make this concept all fun and games. Allow each student to use their wildest imaginations to mix the colors and create new ones. It is about guiding them into their imaginations and creativity and not just showing them.
3. Drawing Activities
Unlike coloring, not every student will be excited about drawing. It sounds almost as hectic as sitting in a mathematics class on a hot afternoon. But it all depends on how you teach it as their tutor. You need to understand your students and what stimulates their activity and participation. Help those who are holding back to loosen up.
Betty Edwards is one gifted artist whose books have influenced and shaped up great artists. She has a book dubbed: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. This particular book has done wonders and magic in most classrooms for decades. The book will challenge the student to think differently in awkward situations.
Here are some examples of what it does.
- Drawing with your weak hand.
- Using drawing materials with long attachments at the tail. E.g rulers and long sticks.
- Upside down drawing.
With all these activities, it is so difficult for a student not to come home with at least one artistic skill that they can perfect over time.
4. Design Challenges
The main goal for any creativity is to tackle certain problems in a different way. Use different design challenges to tap into your student’s creativity. Remember that if you are dealing with a group of students, the way they respond through their designs will vary. Some will be simple but extremely creative. Some will be complex but on a whole new level.
Give your students a platform to create solutions in their own special personal ways. Don’t force them to have the same response for the challenge. That will only be cosmetic. You need to stir and set free that power to dare create anything from deep within them. Let them collaborate with each other but encourage each of them to manifest their deepest thoughts through the designs. No matter how awkward and unrealistic they feel their art is.
5. Painting Musical Chair Styles
Fear always buries talent. Fear is the number one enemy of creativity. Encourage your students and let them know that whatever they are painting from their deepest parts is remarkable. No matter how lame. No matter how odd. Once you have restored their confidence, every other thing will automatically fall into place.
Ask your students to create and paint in the form of musical chairs. Let them know that they can apply any media they feel is based. However, for those who can paint, encourage them to because musical chairs work best with this technique. Give them a blank surface and other requirements and set the timer for them. Make the process fun and free of bullying for the weaker students. There is always something that retreats into us when we are bullied.
Once the timer is off, let the students exchange their creations and add to each other’s work. This way, there will be teamwork, collective thinking, and fun going around the musical chairs. This will challenge their creative thinking. Encourage them to finish the art in their own free time. While at it, incorporate other fun activities like exercises.
Teaching middle-grade students is not the easiest job one can ever have. Especially if you are trying to teach them a skill, they are not even interested in. Most students are not inclined to either art or craft. You have to be tactical and thoughtful in your teaching approach to accommodate each of your students.
Find some fun and neutral ground to meet with your students. Don’t use force and don’t be lenient either. Be firm and show them the importance of going through these lessons. Within no time, you will see them unfold their resentful approach and start warming up to your lessons.
Patience is the name of the game.