Tips and Tricks for Teaching Kids Art

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Tips and Tricks for Teaching Kids Art Empty Tips and Tricks for Teaching Kids Art

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:55 pm

I’ve only been doing this for a year, so I hope the more experienced docents and assistants will chime in. But here are a few tips that work for me.

  • Study the material in advance- It really goes without saying, but... Don’t get caught teaching a class while reading the lesson plan. Not fun for you or the students.

  • Your Kids as Guinea Pigs- Use your kids as a focus group. Try out your spiel before taking it to the tent. Teach the project to your kid first. You’ll get a good idea of what works, and what doesn’t.  

  • Show up Early- Not only will you have time to get organized, you’ll be able to relax, get comfortable, and go over your lesson plan.

  • Organize your Supplies- Have the paper, pencils, paints, brushes, etc. sorted and ready to pass out at specific points in the lesson. Searching for supplies during class wastes valuable time.

  • Utilize the Assistants- Assistants are there because they want to help. Consider assigning each assistant specific tasks prior to starting class.

  • Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking- It’s simple. Just image the people in your audience are three feet tall. Seriously, they’re little kids. You’re not asking your boss for a raise or addressing a joint session of congress. The kids will adore you. If not for you, they’d be studying math, or proper punctuation. Instead, they're drawing pictures, making sculptures, and generally having a blast. So relax and enjoy the attention!  

  • Engage Early and Often- Start the session off with a question to the class, a question kids want to answer. Call on several students. Then listen to what they have to say. Kids love it when you listen. Listen to a kid, and they will listen to you.

  • This Isn’t Rocket Science- Or Art History. Talk about the Renaissance, Gothic architecture, or Cubism for more than a minute or two, and you’ll lose’m. Keep it interesting. Avoid leaning on dates. A couple of fun facts is probably enough.  

  • Time Management- Ignore the clock at your peril. Divide the project into convenient parts and assign completion times to each. For example: Complete background and warmup by 10:15; finish sketching by 10:30; start painting by 10:45. It may help to go over the timing with an assistant. Ask them to prompt you if you’re running over.

  • Always Learn- We’ve got some great teachers in the program. Assist other docents and learn from them. Also, I like to update my personal lesson plan after each class. If the kids didn’t grasp a concept I was pitching, I’ll look for another way to present it. Or if one segment took too long, I’ll work to shorten it.

  • Thank the Assistants- We need at least two assistants for every class. Keep your team happy and coming back. Assistants deserve your thanks. Make sure they know they’re appreciated.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I look forward to your tips, tricks, comments, and questions.


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Tips and Tricks for Teaching Kids Art Empty Re: Tips and Tricks for Teaching Kids Art

Post by Angela R on Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:05 am

This is my favorite post, especially "imagine the people in your audience are 3 feet tall!"

Angela R

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