What are the absolutely essential art resources you need to deliver high-quality drawing lessons in primary school?
We all know school budgets are tight. And, sadly, art and design are rarely high on a school’s list of priorities for expenditure. Meg Fabian, the author of Drawing is a Class Act, says you can get by with surprisingly few absolute basics:
- 2B pencils
- fine line pens (tip size 0.4 mm)
- charcoal, medium thickness
- white chalk
- oil pastels
Discount stores are often an excellent place to pick up art resources cheaply, but make sure you check for quality. Gradually extend your range a little at a time.
If you are lucky enought to have a bit more money, here are Meg’s recommendations for what a well-resourced art cupboard should have:
Drawing is a Class Act, Years 5-6
Drawing is a Class Act, Years 3-4
Drawing is a Class Act, Years 1-2
- H, B, 2B, 4B, 6B pencils
- Fine line pens (tip size 0.3 and 0.4 mm), water-based
- Fine (tip size 0.4 mm), medium and broad permanent pens
- Charcoal, thick and thin
- Oil pastels, 25 colours, bright and subtle, extra white and black
- Art pastels, good range of colours, including landscape colours
- Conté crayons (soft pastels), black, white, earth colours, sepia, burned sienna, etc
- Pens (with nibs) and drawing inks, including white
- Good-quality crayons, some sets in people colours
- Art quality coloured pencils, landscape and portrait sets
- Water colour pencils
- Metallic crayons
- Metallic pens –fine and broad
- Sketchbooks with cartridge paper pages
- Clipboards for outside drawing
- Black plastic viewfinders
- Magnifying glasses with flexible necks that clamp onto desk
- Lamps with flexible necks
- Collection of reproductions of works of art, filed according to topic or subject, or QCA art documents
- Collection of CD-Roms featuring works of art for use on computer and white boards
- Collection of artefacts for drawing
For more tips and lesson plans to support a skills-based approach to drawing, get Meg Fabian’s Drawing is a Class Act series for primary schools.
Looking for fun preschool activities now that summer is here? Here are 10 fun activities that young children will love – whether you are at home or in a nursery, mother and toddler group, playgroup or other early years setting.
Creative Activities for the Early Years
- Make giant ice creams. Use light brown A4 paper rolled into a cone and fastened with tape. Fill with scrap paper and glue cotton wool on top as ice cream. Add details like rolled up tubes of paper as a flake, or coloured paint drizzled over as sauce.
- Talk about: Has anyone been to the seaside? What was it like?
- Make sandcastle pictures by spreading glue all over sandcastle-shaped pieces of card. Decorate with paper shells and flags, and make seaweed from scrunched-up tissue paper.
- Sing ‘The Sun has got his Hat on’ – excellent for dancing to and can be found on lots of children’s recordings.
- Put out paper, brushes and paints and allow the children to ‘free paint’.
- Talk about Pirates: keep it simple and do not make it too true to life! They sailed the seas in big ships, buried treasure and had parrots on their shoulders.
- Cut out some simple paper ships and allow the children o paint them. Encourage the children to paint their own flags. They don’t all have to paint the Jolly Roger!
- Have a summer picnic outdoors. If the weather is bad, just hold the picnic inside. You could even decorate the room with branches and flowers.
- Why not ask the children to bring a teddy and have a teddy bears’ picnic?
- Hold a treasure hunt outdoors. Give children a list of things they have to find such as – three different leaves, a red/blue/yellow flower, a small stone, a daisy, a twig – these can be swapped for cut-out coloured shapes if you’re indoors.
For more summer activities for young children get Barbara Melling’s Creative Activities for the Early Years. This book contains over 160 art and craft activities for use by reception classes, nurseries, playgroups, and mother and toddler groups –as well as by parents and carers, on a variety of popular early years themes.
Try these ideas, taken from 100+ Fun Ideas for Art Activities, for gaining extra resources for art lessons/children’s clubs/artwork at home.
100+ Fun Ideas for Art Activities
- Picture bank – It is of huge use to keep a constant look out for pictures from sources like magazines, the Internet and postcards. Cut these out and back them on cardboard and arrange them into themes. If you can laminate them, the pictures will last longer.
- Internet – An excellent resource for finding pictures and information on artists, cultures and religious artefacts.
- Visitors – Many county councils will have a list of working artists who may be willing to come in and do an art activity for your class. You may have to pay for this, but children tend to benefit greatly from meeting a ‘real-life’ artist. Other visitors, such as art students and historical experts, may also be used as ‘human stimulus’ for learning in art.
- Libraries, art galleries and museums – librarians and curators of galleries and museums are usually very helpful in providing support with resources of information, so too are tourist information centres and historical/religious societies.
- Teaching centre – your local teacher support centre may have boxes of artefacts or packs of pictures on a specific theme that you could borrow for a period of time.
- Scrap stores and local businesses – in some areas you can find scrap stores or recycling centres that may let you have resources for free, or a minimal cost. Local businesses such as printing firms or fabric shops may donate cardboard from packaging or fabric remnants.
- Parents/carers – Ask the parents/guardians of your pupils if they have any materials like fabric, wool or buttons that they could donate to an art project.
These ideas have been taken from 100+ Fun Ideas for Art Activities that are easy to prepare and children will love by Paula Goodridge.
Is it really possible that an art class can raise the self-esteem of every pupil?
Put another way, can art, where children’s innate abilities seem to vary so greatly, have a positive effect on the social and emotional development of all pupils?
A recent study by the Kennedy Center for Education shows that students in arts-integrated classrooms are more creative, positively challenged, and more engaged in their schoolwork than those not in arts-integrated classrooms.