Sometimes I feel like my students here are very needy in terms of needing to have the “right” answer. I am not sure if this is specific to our school or if high school students (especially ninth graders) have trouble feeling comfortable with their own ideas. I am often repeating the phrases, “mistakes are fine, just make it look like you did it on purpose!” and “It’s your project, you have to decide!” and “Do whatever you want, it’s up to you!” Some of them are still struggling to get away from the idea that everything has one way to do it, but my obnoxious broken record mantra must be sinking in with a few because many of them are getting better at thinking outside the box.
I have repeated a few of the projects I taught in Honduras with my ninth graders this year. I loved my students in Honduras and I miss them a lot, but I’ve enjoyed seeing the same projects have results at a more advanced level. It is also highly entertaining to show my current students an example of a project, hear them all moan and say it’s too hard, then see the expression on their faces when I tell them the example they’re looking at was created by a student two years younger than they are!
The examples below may seem familiar because I posted the same projects when my students in Honduras did them. I had to post again though because I feel like my ninth graders this year did an excellent job of following the exact same directions while getting creative in their interpretation of those directions and/or adding personal touches to their projects. And there are a few that I just simply think are fabulous!
We have been working on half-portraits as an independent project for the last several months (something to work on when you’re done with everything else). Click here to see the versions my seventh graders made in Honduras.
For the semester exam in January, I asked them to complete my value study project as a “test” on the skills of shading techniques. Click here to see the versions my eighth graders made in Honduras.