I am teaching a class for a local homeschooling group called LEAH that meets once a week. Most classes are art/craft, music, foreign language, or phys ed/ sports related (if I was a kid, I'd definitely take the archery class!). My class is called "Art Styles and Movements"
"We will be learning about various art movements/styles and some of the artists that were a part of them. For each movement, students will create their own projects inspired by the artists who painted in that particular style. We will be covering Art Movements such as Impressionism, Cubism, and Realism, and artists such as Monet, Picasso, and DaVinci."
This week, my focus was on introductions and DaVinci. I focused mostly on DaVinci's sketches. The classroom assignment was to practice sketching their hand, and their homework every week is to bring in at least one sketch they've done (either from life or from a picture).
I told the kids about how drawing their hand was a good subject to practice sketching, since you always have your hand with you, and I told them about how my art teacher in high school told us that if you want to go to an art school for college, you have to have at least one hand study in your portfolio. I showed them a sketch I did for a painting I did back in high school for that portfolio class, and the finished painting...my "Surreal Hand Study in Blue". The kids said what everyone else says about the painting...that it looks "creepy" or like the dead rising (I also have gotten "people buried by an avalanche" before). I never had an intention for the piece to portray that kind of morbid or creepy feeling when I did it. I just wanted to do a hand study in a surrealistic style.
I have 12 students, ages 8-12. I went around the room and had the kids tell their name, why they took the class, and if they'd done any art before. The two main answers I got to the "why did you take this class?" question was either because "it sounded cool/I like art" or "My mom made me sign up for it." Okay...no pressure to make the class fun and interesting.
Next week we are going to be learning about Monet and Impressionism and working with paint and color...so it should be more interesting.