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Dipping my toe in Choice Based

Choice Based Printmaking

I tried something new in first grade and kindergarten this unit:  Choice Based Centers!  I was always nervous to actually try having multiple things going on at once (one mess to clean up is enough for me, thank you!!) but have been very pleased and surprised at the results of my little experiment.

The centers are:

1.  Monster Stamps

I have teeny little rubber stamps that have monster eyes/feet/horns/hair etc. on them, and the idea is to stamp some parts then use fine markers to draw the rest, then color with colored pencils.

2.  Ed Emberly Thumbprint Stamps

Colored stamp pads, fine markers and the Emberly old standby book

3.  Gadget Print Flower Garden

Spools, lego, pen tops etc. for printing and a tray with tempera puddles, colored paper as a background.

4.  Letter and Number Tempera Prints

Foam letter and number stamps and the tempera painting tray – again, colored paper for a surface.

I introduced the stations, let them know they could change stations NEXT art time, but today they needed to stay at the station they chose.  Then, the following art time they had the choice to continue work on the previously started project or start fresh, again, at any station they chose.  To my surprise and delight, choices were pretty evenly distributed both sessions, and to my even more surprise and delight, kids often chose to continue work on the same piece for both sessions, making for some nicely elaborate work.  While the quality hasn’t visually been top choice bulletin board material, the work is very authentic, with kids really investing in work that’s meaningful and interesting to them.  That’s really what art’s all about, right?  So I guess there’s room in my life for a little choice after all!


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