End of Class Activities

These are some of my favorite ideas for the end of class that I came up with/learned about in college. Honestly, so far in my teaching career, we usually only have enough time to get cleaned up and maybe do some quick reflection questions about the concepts/skills discussed/learned from that class. My classes are super short and I typically want my students to have as much time as possible to create and experiment with their art.

  • Gallery Walk – Take a quick gallery walk around the classroom and see other people’s artworks in progress.
  • Sketchbook Assignment – Students can get started on a weekly sketchbook assignment or free draw in their sketchbooks.
  • Automatic Drawing/Art Meditation – Ask students to think about why they make art and what kind of an experience art can be (is it emotional? freeing? difficult?). Have students loosen up and let go by drawing and creating without a purpose/end goal in mind. Play calming music and encourage students to close their eyes yet continue to keep their hands moving and drawing across the page. Students can create mandalas, abstract blobs, lines, and whatever else “flows” out of them. If there is more time to prepare, you can also give students small pieces of cardboard which they can paint on using just a brush dipped in water. The images they draw on the cardboard are transient which eases the pressure of creating something perfect with permanent marks.
  • Art Trivia – Ask questions about concepts that were taught that day or have a list already prepared with possible art trivia questions. Or, pull up art related quizzes from sporcle.com.
  • Make a List (best for 3-5 minutes left of class) – Have the students take out a piece of paper or use a page in their sketchbook and list as many artists as they can think of before the bell rings.
  • Thorough Clean-up – Assign students jobs to wash brushes, clean out palettes, wipe table and counters, and tidy up the classroom thoroughly.
shallow photography of brushes on jar
Photo by Emily Hopper on Pexels.com
  • Exit Tickets – Have a stack of exit tickets prepared for days when there is extra time. Possible questions include:
    • What was the most interesting thing you learned today?
    • What are you planning to add on to your project?
    • What is your inspiration for your project?
    • What challenges have you faced and what did you do to overcome them/what are you planning to do?

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