Home Specialty Extended Learning in Art: Fostering Inspiration Through Everyday Life

Extended Learning in Art: Fostering Inspiration Through Everyday Life

Extended learning in art comes through the visual cues we see daily. Art majors are taught to carry a sketchbook, be aware of their surroundings, and record what they find interesting. These recordings later become inspiration for pieces of art. The sketchbook is the foundation and can record things that garner attention through sketching, drawing, doodling, cutting, and pasting.

Art goes beyond the classroom wall. It is important for students to see art in their everyday lives. Art is a great influencer. Art is virtually everywhere you look—from the graphic design on a subway pass, to leaves floating in a puddle, to the spots on a dalmatian puppy. The elements and principles of design can be found in all things.

As you plan for extended learning before or after school, through summer vacation, and during school breaks, encourage your students to always carry their sketchbooks. When they return to the classroom, have them share their findings. This will help to inspire others to take a closer look at what they might not have observed.

Take a group of students into a public building and have them write down what they saw. You will be amazed at how differently each person sees their surroundings. There is no right or wrong way to view things. The fun is seeing how differently we all see the same thing.

Share with students famous artists’ sketchbooks. Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbooks are probably the most famous as they have been featured in many books and movies. He has so many ideas and renderings in his books.  It is important for students to realize that their drawings and sketches do not have to be perfect; they are just ideas to build from.

You can find a sketchbook for any age or skill level. For the early learners, the Sax Art Journal and Sax Sketch N’ Write book work well. These books allow students to draw and then take notes on their drawings. The writing space can also be used to create short stories around the objects drawn. Sketchbooks for older students are usually 50 to 100 pages and come in all sizes and have different paper weights. Choice here will be determined by skill level and medium used. Most sketchbooks are spiral bound so pages turn easily and can be used on both sides if desired.  Mixed media journals allow students to enhance their sketches with markers, watercolor, and other mediums.  Design-your-own-cover sketchbooks give students the opportunity to personalize their books with their own cover art. Create a customized sketchbook using Sax Spiralbound Book Making Kits. These books give students the ability to customize their page counts and covers.

No matter what sketchbook you choose or make, it offers an excellent way to extend art beyond the classroom.

More Extended Learning Art Lesson Plans & Ideas

Want to try something else? Be sure to check out these other art lesson plans and view our Art Lesson Plan collection for even more.

Drawing the Light

From Concrete to Abstract

Share Your Star Students’ Artwork

We love student art! Give your students an opportunity to shine. Submit their artwork to be considered for our next Featured Student Artist and a chance to win a merchandise certificate worth $250 for the student and the teacher who inspired them. Original artwork from students of all grade levels is eligible and the online submission process is simple. Visit our Student Art page for details.

Nadine Dresbach

Nadine Dresbach

For Nadine, art education has been her life’s work, including an Ohio teaching license, 5 years teaching elementary art, and 19 years in higher education (teacher prep). She has served Sax for 25 years as a Category Account Manager, Art Consultant, and Subject Matter Expert. In the latter capacity, Nadine has presented at various national, state, and local conferences.

Mary Reilly

Mary Reilly

After 24 years as a college admissions director, Mary crossed over to provide the materials for art education as a member of Sax, first as manager of Inside Sales, then as National Sales Manager. Mary has overseen a team of 15 art consultants. In 2000 Mary and her team created Sax Lesson Plan Book partnerships with prominent art supplies vendors. Meanwhile, she has refined her own artful style of presentation at various national, state and local conferences.

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