Every Friday I have art class with my sixth graders. I like my first lesson of the year to be simple, but with enough variety to give me a sense of how well students work with materials and what level of creativity they will bring to their art projects. This year we got started by putting our hands together to make a bulletin board – literally.

Coloring Hands

Each student received a piece of white drawing paper and the instructions to either trace their hands or have their neighbor trace their hands. I then asked them to use markers and crayons to create a variety of brightly colored patterns filling each hand.

Colorful Hands

Some students colored very lightly, giving me the opportunity to teach them how to color more thoroughly and with greater force. It is  also always interesting to see students cut. There is no guarantee that by sixth grade they have learned to use scissors correctly and are able to cut things out in a smooth way. Watching the group allows me to evaluate where my next lesson should take us and provides me with the opportunity to teach one-on-one as I circle the room.

Colorful Hand Bulletin Board

The real beauty of this project is that whether the hands are colored and cut outstandingly or not, the finished product of all the hands coming together looks wonderful. That’s true for the class as a whole. By working together this year, with both our strengths and our weaknesses, I am confident we can accomplish great things.

Teamwork Bulletin Board