For special education students, learning how to appropriately socialize and show emotions may be incorporated into everyday classroom activities. These skills help students to assimilate into society, jobs, and build relationships with their peers. One creative way to teach these skills is through artistic activities. Many FREE websites are available for teachers to create open-ended online art projects that foster socialization and promote emotional development.
ArtPad is an online site where students can digitally paint online. Students use the different digital tools to change the colors, pen shape, text, paint bucket, size, and opacity to create their art. There is also an undo feature available, just in case. Each time they create a digital stroke, that information is recorded on the site. When the students finish, they can select the replay button to see the steps they took to complete their masterpiece. Their art can then be hung in the digital gallery or emailed to teachers, peers, or family members. Different lessons could include painting about how they feel, or painting appropriate emotions for different circumstances as determined by the teacher. Students could also work together alternating back and forth to build their painting. This would encourage sharing, cooperation, and group work. Many academic lessons could also be taught using this program like drawing and labeling the parts of a wave, drawing the phases of a butterfly, or illustrating a scene from a novel they are reading.
Doodle is Art
Doodle is Art is a website where young students (with adult supervision) can upload their drawings. Drawings are uploaded from all around the world. Students can create digital art or scan photographs of traditional artwork, upload it to the website, and then share their artwork with the world. This creates an authentic environment for students to share their artistic work. In my experiences when work is to be displayed for more than just the teacher and the student, the students tend to take more care and pride in their work, and in turn it makes learning more meaningful for the students.
Mr. PicassoHead is an online site where students create their own Picasso drawing by selecting the different facial elements “Mr. Potato Head style.” They first choose their face shape, then eyes, nose, lips, ears, eyebrows, hair, abstracts, and then they add their signature. As they add the different elements, the students are able to change the color, scale, order, and direction to create their own artistic view of Mr. PicassoHead. This would be a great activity for students to work together. They can learn sharing and compromising skills to create a work that they will both be proud of. Teachers could also use this site to teach students about emotions. They can direct the student to an emotion that they should artistically create with their Mr. PicassoHead. They can also learn about how colors relate to emotion.
Other Great Art Sites
Article by Laura Ketcham
Photo by Dylanroscover