Yes, that’s right, we have homework in art class too. Every week the students in basic and advanced art are assigned a sketchbook assignment that is due on Friday. Sometimes the assignments relate to the projects we are doing in class, events in the school or are simply free draw assignments where students may choose to draw whatever they would like. Most students enjoy the assignments, but I always hear the question, “But why do we have homework in art class?”
I feel that sketchbook assignments are important for high school students for many reasons. First, just as in all other classes, homework teaches students responsibility and also reinforces the ideas taught in class. Also, sketchbooks provide more grades for students in classes where there may only be one or two project grades during a marking period. Sketchbook assignments allow the students to practice drawing techniques at home and show more of their artistic personality and creativity. Sketchbooks are often like a visual diary where students can explore their feelings, thoughts and creativity through images. In this sense, sketchbooks teach students about themselves, their artistic style and also provide a place for them to vent and de-stress.
I can remember being a student in the very same art classroom where I now teach and wondering, just as my students do now, why sketchbooks were important. However, I still have my sketchbooks from high school and treasure the drawings and memories within them. The drawings captured important moments in my life and also chronicled my journey as a growing artist. I hope that as my students’ sketchbooks continue to grow throughout the year that they will also learn to love the work that they complete within their sketchbooks and look forward to doing their sketchbooks every week rather than dreading them just because they are “homework.” I know that I truly enjoy seeing the things that they come up with each week and watching them grow as artists throughout the year.
Oh and while I’m on the subject of sketchbooks…This week the students have the option to design an “art ram”for their sketchbook assignment. The images will be a part of a contest in which one will be chosen to be used for the header image on artroomRAMblings. I will posting images of the top three entries over the weekend for everyone to vote on!