How to organize an art lesson

When I go into schools and classrooms to ask how I can support homeroom teachers in their art lessons, there are generally speaking three kind of teachers:

A: loves art, and would love to be an art teacher, but for variuos reasons they can't.


B: think it's a waste of time. 


C: it's a nice subject but they really don't like teaching art, because ut's messy, unorganized and loud...


So, this blog post is dedicated to Group C...

Because: if you are a teacher A, your lessons are probably full of art anyway, you might even teach maths trough art and everybody calls you the "artist" teacher.

Well, teacher B.... not sure if you read this blog, and if... deep in your heart you are a teacher C anyway and should keep on reading!


Welcome teacher C!

You love art, and you know how much students love doing art, and you probably know of all the benefits art brings to a students life... now: let's get your art lessons going!


Step one: ignore the concept that art lessons need to be FREE and students are allowed to run wild in your classroom. During my lessons I expect students to stay in their spot (standing or sitting... I don't mind, but they have a spot)


Step two: get your art supplies organized!

Ok, this might be a little challenge, but it help in the long run.

Means, make sure you have enough e.g paint brushes, water pots, pencils, erasers ready and give them a designated space in your room, or have them in a box, where students know where they are.


Step three: Have a plan. Here for use one of my "ready to teach" lesson plans don't make the actual working time longer then 20 min.


Now you go, make sure all students have their art supplies RIGHT in front of them. Why? another blog post


Tell them their task and let them do. It's your time to watch, motivate the scared ones and praise the confident students.


When the 20-30 min are over I always count down 3,2,1 paintbrush, so they don't have time to rush and destroy some of their work. 


Have three students helping you collecting all art supplies in a bag or bucket. Don't bother with cleaning up too much, paint brushes survive a few hours in paint (but please don't put them in water!!!).


When all tables are free from paints and brushes make the students talk about their work. Usually they are super keen on showing their art work. And this you can do for the rest of the lesson. Give them applause, make classmates ask questions.


Now, you can either take a few responsible students take cleaning the brushes in the bathroom or do this with them later.


Trust me, the fun you and your students have is worth the little hassle.