I really liked how this fourth grade project turned out. It didn't take a whole lot of explanation- the kids just dove right in and succeeded. We started by dividing our paper into six "curvy" sections. The first section was reserved for the "I AM." In the following four sections, I had them write adjectives to describe themselves. Speaking nicely of themselves was encouraged, although, pre-teens can't help but be fascinated by the words like awkward and weird. Especially awkward. They love it. They use it any chance they get, which is really ironic. And lastly, the last section had their name. I had them make sure to make the letters stretch from the top to the bottom of each section to make new shapes in between each letter.
After laying out their poem in pencil, I had them use crayons to outline everything nice and thick. These thick crayon like would make nice barriers for the watercolor. In between each letter (new shapes) they used watercolors. I love how it ended up looking. It reminded me of the artist Paul Klee. And not to mention, they loved being able to relax and visit with their friends while they painted. And that's okay with me. I think they should associate art with having a good time.
Most of them were able to complete the project in two or three class periods. But, because it didn't require a lot of my help, it was a good one to start kind of in between projects. Thus far, I have tried really hard to keep everyone at the same pace and on the same page, but with the older kids, I'm slowly letting that go when possible. As long as they are progressing and willing to stop and have a whole-group discussion in the middle of things, I'm okay with neighbors working on different projects. Engagement and exploration is my main focus!