Just for the Art of it!

I have never shared any of my teaching struggles or joys with an audience, so I really hope that some of this makes sense.

I invited an Art teacher to come work with me, and by the end of the first project a second Art teacher was hot on her heels!

Me: Do you want to come to the Learning Commons and we can do a lesson on trending artists? We can use our new iPads!

Art Teacher: I don’t have a prep this semester, and I’m pretty overloaded, but maybe next semester.

Me:  So bring in your kids and I will do the lesson, you don’t have to prep a thing

Art Teacher: Hmmmm… ok then… I’ll bring all 3 of my senior blocks

Me: bahaha, well now you’re talking !!

If you are interested in how we did these projects read on, but if not then you can just enjoy the slides! Hopefully, I’m brave enough to share more lessons in the future!

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So the madness begins!

Step #1

While I introduced the assignment to the students the Art teacher (Ms. Libera) took out a sheet of paper and divided her class into pairs. I started by showing the students an example/model of what the final project might look like. Then, using a projector connected to the iPad, I went over some instructions for using the iPads and the Explain Everything app.

Next, I had the groups take some time to research an artist they were interested in. They did this on our desktop computers. One group focused on a variety of trending artist (painters or photographers), and the others were looking at well know artists from the past.

Step #2

Using our desktop computers, the students put together a simple powerpoint with 6 to 10 slides to introduce us to their artist. They were also told to write a short script to accompany each slide. They would use this information later when it was time to record.

Step #3

Next, they saved their powerpoint in my Learning Commons Dropbox.  I posted the login and password on the wall so it was easy for them to find. In my Dropbox I made folders for Art 11 & 12,  and the students loaded their powerpoint into the appropriate grade folder.


After they logged out of my Dropbox on the desktop computers, they came and signed out an iPad. They opened the Explain Everything app and uploaded their powerpoint from my Dropbox.

Step #5

With their slides now in Explain Everything, they could take the iPads and their information into our recording rooms (quiet areas). In the recording rooms they added their voice recordings to their presentations using the Explain Everything app. This app allowed them to add text, laser pointers, and colored arrows to point out features of their artists work. I also asked the students to speak clear and loud into the small speaker on the iPads when they recorded.


Once finished, they named/saved their projects, and exported from Explain Everything to my Learning Commons YouTube Channel (login and passwords posted on my wall) . Now they closed the Explain Everything app and handed in the iPad. The groups returned to a desktop computer to make a QR code. 


Making a QR Code: To do this the students signed in to my YouTube account and found their presentation. I had them play it once through, and then they copied the URL/address. I then had them minimized this page in case we had to go back.

Step #8

They then opened a 2nd page from the internet and searched for i-Nigma.com. They selected create a bar code, and the students put the URL from their YouTube presentation into the web address box. I also had them put in a title (which was the name of their artist).

Next, they saved the picture of the QR Code to their desktop and they print them. We made the QR codes large so they were easy to scan from a distance.

Step # 9

Art Work: Each student was required to do a focus sample highlighting the style of his/her artist. These samples were all done on large circles of heavy card. Each circle was placed into a large paper magnifying glass and hung next to the students QR code.


The students had no problems, and needed no instruction on how to make a quick Power Point. However, none had used this app before, and very few had experience with iPads. Absolutely none had ever made a QR Code, and they were amazed to see it work with big smiles all around! The art teacher marked the focus art samples out of 10, and together we used a simple rubric to evaluate the presentations. 

If I had a do-over, I would have the students put their own names after the artist’s name in the QR Code Title area (by…), because now we are adding student credits after the fact. Also, the internet in our school can be painfully slow at times, but I have no control over that.
Follow up: We will be having our gr 9s come down to the Learning Commons to scan all the QR Codes and listen to these presentations. After, they will do a short refelection on any 2 presentations they found interesting. I would really like to thank Ms. Libera for being brave enough to come and work with me in the LC!


So… during all this fun the other art teacher asks “when do I get to come in?” Not one to miss an opportunity I jumped on that! He had 2 blocks of grade 9s.

First, I spent some time introducing the students to some great art apps like Procreate, Colored Pencils, and My Brushes.

Next, we let them have some time to research Book Art for an assignment that was really very exciting! Google search had pages of pictures if you search under Book Art, Book Art Folding, or Book Art Sculpture, and Pinterest has some amazing ideas as well! The students brought in some old books they no longer wanted due to damage, and some students found inexpensive books at thrift stores. A special thank-you to Mr. Smith for letting me be a part of this exciting project!

I hope you enjoyed their work as much as I enjoyed working and learning with them! 




Filed under Learning Commons

5 responses to “Just for the Art of it!

  1. I really like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and coverage!

    Keep up the very good works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

  2. I love this… I’ll definitely try something similar with my grade sevens when we’re working on creating an art exhibit!

  3. Reblogged this on Deep Roots, Great Heights and commented:
    This post is awesome! If you are a JH teacher and you are wondering how to engage with the new Learning Commons, take a look at this! If you want to help your students integrate their learning with online tools, this can get you started.


  4. Sounds like a TON of fun! When can I bring MY class? 😉

  5. Great project, Michelle! Thanks so much for sharing! I am definitely going to try it out! Just need to find my victim! Haha!

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