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Middle School Sketchbooks

When I moved up to the middle school from the elementary school, I was most excited to implement daily use of sketchbooks. But being on a tight art budget, I've had to get creative!

The solution I found was using manila file folders and copy paper (and heavy duty staples) to create a sketchbook for each student that lasts one quarter. My students are in art class all year long, so they end up with four sketchbooks total. We design each cover differently, and they take them home at the end of the quarter. I purchased some book bins from Amazon so that they can be stored in the classroom by Period and Table. As you can see, my students do a GREAT job of responsibly caring for their sketchbooks.

The number one thing my students want to learn is DRAWING! They love to draw, and greatly desire to build their skills at drawing realistically. To accomplish this, we have a "Word Of The Day" with a variety of examples. They range from simple to complicated, and students are encouraged to combine examples or change them into something of their own creation. You would not believe how much growth I see each quarter! Best of all, the students can see their skills developing. They marvel at how much they improve, and their confidence soars. We meet individually twice a month to review their sketchbooks. I love hearing their thoughts and seeing their wonderfully unique ideas. For the numerous students of mine who recently immigrated to the US, our sketchbook time allows them to develop more than just drawing ability. Seeing the word of the day with visual examples helps them expand their english vocabulary too.

Do you make sketchbooks for your students? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

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