Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Collaborative Art Warm-Up Activity.

The best thing about having kids going through the education system is that they learn from the village. They then come home and teach me what they have learned.  This year my son is in middle school and I'm teaching 6th grade for the first time.  I have taught 7th and 8th grade... 9 through 12... and P-5. But this is the first time to teach 11/12 year-olds.  My coworker Mark Pederson has had lot's of years with this age group and is now teaching my son.  I'm learning so much from this man!

My son explained a warm-up game to encourage teamwork and collaboration. I had to give it a try in my classroom too. It was a blast for my students and I thought it might be great for yours as well. Thanks so much to Mr. Pederson for being an inspiration for this post.

Here is how I did this game in my class:

First I gave each table-group a sheet of paper with a circle (or two) and a line on it. I told them they had two minutes to discuss how they would take these shapes and lines and make them into a monster.

When the 2 minutes were complete I showed them the tool they would be using to create the monster. This is a marker with four strings taped to it. The strings are roughly two to three feet long.

The rules of the monster making were that they can not touch the marker after the cap was removed. Each person in the group must have a hand on one of the strings the whole time. I set the timer for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes, I asked them what tips and tricks they have to offer others that made this task more successful.  Suggestions such as holding the string closer to the marker, moving the paper rather than the marker, communication... were all mentioned.

Then I asked them to trade markers and draw a second 5 minutes to complete their monster face.

This was a fun 15 minute 'Friday Fun' activity for my 6th graders. Again, thanks to Mr. Pederson for reminding me that middle schoolers need to have a little fun.

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