The last few days of the school year can be a challenge.… students are super-excited and their energy level is high! Add in a substitute teacher and things could get crazy!
So, I was asked to sub for a couple of classes on their last day of Art. I knew I’d need something special to focus their almost-summer-vacation exuberance!
We live in a surf town on the California coast, so designing a surfboard seemed like a logical way to end the school year. Since we only had one class period to work on these, I kept the size down to something they might actually have time to complete (7“x24”). I gave students black Sharpies, colored markers (mostly dried up, but hey… it’s the end of the year!), and crayons (for filling in large areas quickly with the side of the crayon). Those who didn’t finish would most likely have those supplies at home if they wanted to finish them later.
For prep, I made a surfboard-shaped template. Then I traced and cut the surfboards ahead of time. I used 18x24 drawing paper so I was able to get two surfboards (7x24) from each piece. Getting the shape just right for the template was the hardest part of this lesson! First, I made a rough sketch of a surfboard on a half sheet of paper (9x24). Then I folded the 9x24 paper in half (lengthwise) and cut on the fold to make it symmetrical. I’ll admit, it took a few tries to get the proportions just right! Once I had my template, I folded the rest of the 18x24 paper in half, stacked two sheets together at a time (one inside the other), traced a surfboard on top, and then cut them out four surfboards at a time.
We talked about different styles of graphic art and surfboard/skateboard designs they had seen. The kids had fun with this project and actually stayed focused.… many of them even finished!
Do you have a go-to lesson for the end of the school year that helps students stay focused in spite of their excitement for summer vacation? Please share!