Teaching Techniques/Tips

Teaching Techniques/Tips

  • Think about how you would set up your classroom during art time to make it feel different from your other classes even if you are using the same room –> e.g. push desks together, put on music.
  • A nice way to display students’  art is to give them a piece of paper with a frame drawn on in Sharpie – they can then create their work within the frame.


  • Another tip: write the child’s name on the background construction paper so you don’t wreck their work.
  • Recognize that art is very personal and it is easy for students’ feelings to get hurt. Our goal is to try to get kids to do things in their own funny/weird way but broaden their minds in terms of the diversity of art forms they can experiment with.
  • Children’s books can be a great inspiration for art class.
  • If there is a buzz and you students are relaxed, smiling, talking, exploring, creating – then you’re doing a good job 🙂
  • It’s about creating a community of learners – the more comfortable we are with the people around us the more we remember the subject matter.
  • The point of taking a class in How to Teach Elementary / Middle School Art is for us to explore our own creativity – for a reason: so we can create good experiences for the students.
  • Don’t forget the Old BC Curriculum has resources we can use to learn about art topics we don’t know about as teachers.
  • Can give students the option to create a picture (something recognizable), pattern (something that repeats) or abstract work
  • Don’t forget to consider universal design, different sensory preferences / learning styles, special needs, etc.
  • Also make sure your activities are age-appropriate for the students you have
  • Be careful not to get kids dependent on other people’s work – don’t assign them to copy other people’s work directly – e.g. they don’t have to look up a picture of a sunflower online and paint that. Instead they could look at 3 pictures of sunflowers and then try to use geometric shapes to make a sunflower
  • When you’re actually in a school: try the activity you have planned out with their materials to make sure it works with those pastels, those paints, etc.
  • If you’re asking kids to make something to contribute to a class project – you can let them make 2 versions – one to keep and one to contribute (like we did with our finger painting)
  • Establish clean up procedures with your class – think about challenges and potential solutions

Also here are some pictures of the materials we’ve been working with: