Because I received the request over winter break, I began brainstorming meaningful activities to do with my class when we returned to school in the new year. I decided a makeover of my usual New Year resolution lesson was in order.
Every January, I talk with my students about setting goals for themselves that will make the second half of our year even better than the first. It's a concept they definitely can relate to, and I let everyone share resolutions they've heard the adults in their lives make. Then I break it down to a third-grade level and we discuss goals like making honor roll, reading a certain number of books, mastering our math facts, etc.
After we shared our goals, I asked students to visualize what it would look like when they achieved their goal. I gave them each a piece of white card stock with the directions to illustrate their vision using lots of color. We make a "thought bubble" to hold our goal and decorated the background around it.
Then I had students paint over their goals using a mixture of black paint with a few drops of dish soap mixed in. We used wide foam brushes to completely cover our design by painting lightly back and forth. They were shocked that their hard work was being covered, but I didn't tell them why.
Make sure students use a thin coat so the crayon shows through slightly. If the paint goes on really thick in lots of layers, the project is more difficult.
I had students paint in batches and stacked their art as it dried. The card stock did curl up a bit so I stuck them under a stack of dictionaries to flatten back out.
After the paint dried overnight, I returned the projects and explained that a goal isn't something that's easily accomplished. It takes hard work and determination over time to make our vision a reality. If they wanted to meet their goal, they'd need to come up with concrete ways to make it happen. I asked them to think of one single action that they would do to uncover their goal. Then I gave them toothpicks to write down their word and reveal a tiny bit of their goal.
The result? Beautiful art with meaning.
I'm so excited to watch each one of my students uncover their goals as our year progresses! You can head to your local Jo-Ann store or shop online to get all the supplies you need for this project. Here's a coupon for you too. =)
In case you missed the previous days, they're over at:
January 14: Beach Sand and Lesson Plans
January 15: More Time 2 Teach
January 16: Learning in the Little Apple