Come January, the festivities have passed, and the excitement and anticipation of the holiday season is over. Both students and teachers arrive at school, post-holiday blues in full force. Though summer vacation looks light-years away, you can still find ways to energize your class and get them excited for the remaining months of school. Here are six ways to beat the post-holiday blues in art class:
1. Turn the art room into a winter wonderland
Strip down any remaining holiday décor left in your art room, and set up a display celebrating the current season – winter! Show students how to make complex, beautiful snowflakes and hang them in droves by the ceiling or windows, and plan other winter-themed art lessons. Display artworks such as Grandma Moses’ “Sugaring Off,” winter-related illustrations by Norman Rockwell, winter prints by Currier & Ives, or any other winter-themed artwork.
2. Create New Year’s resolutions for art class
Assign each art class to come up with New Year’s resolutions for the rest of the school year. These could be fun (switching seats every month), educational (researching certain artists, time periods, etc.), eco-friendly (limiting use of paper towels), or helpful (assigning new student chores). Or, rather than creating class-wide goals, have each student come up with their own art class goals (and don’t forget to create your own teacher resolutions).
3. Celebrate upcoming holidays
Just because the holiday season is over, doesn’t mean there aren’t other holidays coming up! Make a point to acknowledge and celebrate all the ‘minor’ holidays in art class – President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and others. Each of these holidays (as well as others) can easily be integrated into art class with related lessons, projects, and study of artworks.
4. Try something new
New year, new materials! Beat the post-holiday blues by breaking out that box of clay you haven’t opened yet, those colored permanent markers you’ve stowed away, that rubber gyotaku fish still sitting in it’s box, or some other new and exciting material the students (and you) have been dying to get your hands on.
5. Use holiday materials in new ways
Don’t leave the holidays in the past – use them in future artwork! Ask students to bring in remnants of their Christmas break: wrapping paper pieces, bows, ribbons, toy packaging, gift bags, broken ornaments, or old, worn decorations. After studying folk art and assemblage, have students create new artworks from these recycled materials.
6. Start promoting a spring art show
If you’ve got a spring art show in the works, start planning, building and promoting your show. Get student involvement in the planning process, and assign them into committees (such as a publicity committee, framing committee, etc.). Working together toward a common goal, especially in planning a big event, is another surefire way to beat the post-holiday blues.
January sure is a long month, and can really be a drag after the exciting months of holidays you’ve just passed. But it doesn’t have to be boring, dull or uneventful! Planning some fun activities, as well as celebrating the little things, is a fun way to beat the post-holiday blues and bring excitement back into art class – even with five months of school left!
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