photo by Zaur Giyasov via Unsplash

Let’s Get Crafty: 7 Arts & Crafts Ideas for your Next Lesson Plan

April 27, 2021

by Christina Guo, guest contributor

It is important for students to have fun while they learn. Luckily, arts and crafts are an excellent addition to every educational activity! Arts and crafts are vital for children’s development, and they are a fantastic way to incorporate learning through play and creativity. The academic benefits of arts and crafts activities are endless, and should be an essential part of every teacher’s classroom. Below are 7 creative ideas to bring arts and crafts into your classroom.

1. Painting & Drawing

Painting and drawing helps younger students improve their motor skills. Encourage students to work on their storytelling skills through picture. Painting and drawing activities can be adjusted to any age of student, and can be easily incorporated into lesson plans for most subjects. Ideas include drawing a picture of their family, painting a small comic strip pertaining to a lesson, or listening to a book while drawing how the story makes them feel. Challenge students to develop their fine motor skills further by asking them to cut their creations out with scissors.

2. Dramatic Art

Dramatic art can develop skills such as sequencing, listening, and memory, as well as body awareness. Dramatic Art is excellent for incorporating storytelling through body language. Some excellent examples for lesson plans include charades, re-enacting a nursery rhyme, or creating a dance. Encourage your students to explore new poses, varying height levels, and teamwork with their classmates to create an entertaining dramatic art project.

3. Moldable Materials 

Play dough, clay, slime, and pottery are excellent resources for arts and crafts learning. Tactile learning helps students with special relationships, and the different textures of material can be very satisfying for sensory learners. Lesson plan options include creating 3-D puzzles, STEM models, or re-creating a historical monument. Moldable materials are especially brilliant learning tools for visual and tactile learners.

4. Costuming!

Dressing up as a book character or historical figure is an immersive way to learn. For an added challenge to this activity, encourage students to create their costumes with specific materials. For instance, ask your students to create an entire costume made out of duct tape, or only recyclable materials.

5. Edible Art.

Bring food into the classroom! There is nothing more appealing to students than finishing off their lesson with a delicious reward. Baking is a fantastic way to teach students basic or advanced chemistry, and there is always room to decorate afterwards. Another way to incorporate edible art into the classroom is using food to model a STEM or mathematical concept. The best part is that students can eat their tasty creations after they present their work.

6. Mixed Media.

Especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many learning opportunities have moved online. Luckily, there are excellent apps and virtual programs that provide fantastic opportunities to create. For instance, students can create short films on any topic with iMovie, or use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Sketch to create epic illustrations for any skill set.

7. Virtual Art

Many websites also provide a variety of artistic resources that can be used for educational purposes. One fantastic resource is www.littleyou.ca. Their mission is “To cultivate creativity through innovative technology,” and their site does exactly that. Through this platform, students can design their own customizable 3-D miniature avatars! Littleyou.ca provides its users with dozens of options for outfits, hair colors, eye colors, and accessories in order to build the perfect character. Afterwards, students can have their 3-D creation sent to them to keep forever. This activity brings the innovation of 3-D printing into the classroom, and is perfect for students to create avatars of themselves or others.

Ultimately, arts and crafts can be implemented into almost every lesson plan. Don’t be afraid to get crafty in your classroom; the arts add creativity and fun for both students and their teachers. Try one of the above activities in your classroom today!

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