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 can later become the 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 walls. 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. You’ll find the elements and principles of design in nearly all things.
Always Carry a Sketchbook
As you plan for extended learning in art before or after school, through summer vacation, and during school breaks, encourage 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.
What Do You See?
Take a group of students into a public building and have them write down what they see. You’ll be amazed at how differently each person sees their surroundings. There is no right or wrong way to view things. The fun is in how differently we all see the same thing!
Inspiration From the Greats
Share famous artists’ sketchbooks with students. Discuss the many appearances of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous sketchbooks in books and movies. He has so many ideas and renderings in his books. It’s 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. Another use of this writing space is to create short stories around the objects drawn. Sketchbooks for older students are usually 50 to 100 pages and come in all sizes and paperweights. The choice here is determined by their skill level and the medium used. Most sketchbooks are spiral bound, so pages turn easily and are usable 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? Check out these other art lesson plans and view our Art Lesson Plan collection for even more.
From Concrete to Abstract
Share Your Star Students’ Artwork
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Nadine Dresbach received her Masters and Undergraduate Degrees in Art Education from Kent State University. She began her teaching career at Canton City Schools and Kent State University in Ohio. In 1995 she was hired by Sax Arts and Crafts as an Art Consultant and Category Sales Manager representing School Specialty at conferences and professional development sessions. Nadine also creates artwork and lesson plans for the company. Her other teaching experiences include instruction and Internship Supervisor for Winthrop University in Rock Hill South Carolina as well as work for the Rock Hill and Union County School Districts and St. Anne Catholic School.
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Mary Reilly received her BA with an emphasis in textile design from Mount Mary University in Wisconsin. She studied at the Wetterhoff Institute of Craft and Design in Hämeenlinna, Finland, as well as took numerous post-graduate courses in fine arts. Mary has over 15 years of experience with Sax Arts & Crafts, developing and shaping a national team of Art Consultants who have conducted art education and professional development workshops to elementary, middle, and high school art educators across the United States and Canada.
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