Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Art Journaling

What to do when you hear "I'm done!"
The ART of Journaling

I know I've seen a couple of posts lately on what to do with students when you hear, "I'm done," and you still have 15 minutes left in class. I've tried several different things, but I think by providing each student with an art journal you can not only "kill time", but teach them the invaluable skill of expressing themselves through art and experimenting with new mediums and styles of art.

Start at the Dollar Store-they have great hard back books for $1 each (Remember I teach a class of 6-7), but I'm sure if you have a big class you could find old books for free or really cheap at a garage sale, or even bring a old book from home.

Start by letting the students decorate the outside of their "journals" decoupage style and do an introductory lesson on Art Journaling. Explain to them that there will be a station set up each week for them to add to their "art journal" if they get finished early.

Set up a new station each week or let them try different techniques with leftover supplies from that day. We always have leftover paint, paper scraps, etc. Set out stamps, sponges, a variety of brushes, rollers.

Create art on small paper scraps and then glue into their journal. Cut out magazine pictures for inspiration and glue into journal.

Let them gesso some pages, or paint a wash over a page, paint a page black and then doodle on it later with gel pens or oil pastels. Divide a page into sections and try different techniques on the same subject.

The possibilities are endless! There are tons of sites out there with art journaling ideas-try Tammy's Daisy Yellow out for starters. I love her site!!! She has just about all the tips, recommended supplies, ideas, prompts, book lists, etc... you will need to learn about art journaling:

Check out here article on art journaling for teens and tweens here.

Personally, I'm using this book right now and it has really helped creatively. I also love Art Du Jour with Martha Lever-her journal entries are always inspiring! I'd love to hear some of the ways, posts, or tips you have on art journaling and how it works with kids.


  1. How wonderful! I love that you are introducing art journaling to kids. It is a perfect way to creatively "fill" time gaps and art journaling is easily worked in short bursts. Diana's book is truly wonderful, and her blog is super fun too. Cheers!

  2. Love this!!! That phrase, "I'm Done!" or "Now What" used to drive me crazy!!! I had a block/architecture center in one corner of the room and an art history card sorting game. Always intended to have a big canvas kids could paint as an early finishers project set up in one corner if I'm ever back in the art classroom full time but this would be much easier!!! Thank you!! : )


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