I don't know of too many teachers who use art quite the way I do, as a way to get kids working together and solving problems. If you are a teacher looking for drawing ideas for kids, this post might interest you. This is a great way to using art and drawing in school.
For years, I have been developing something I can best describe as noncompetitive battle art. Where kids work together in large groups to use problem solving skills and creativity to accomplish a mission. This mission might be something as simple as each member of the group taking ownership of one part of a group drawing to a giant group battle art project where students actually use their creativity to learn serious content via the art project.
When I get the chance, I plan on writing out more detailed instructions for a few of the successful art battles that I have used in the classroom. I have done a few that turned out amazing and I thought that some other teachers might be interested in trying some of these ideas to help teach the common core in a more creative way. I have used it to teach things from electricity to the Revolutionary War. If anyone is interested, I plan to describe more on my site Cool Things to Draw at some point.
Students in my school love it. I am trained in something called Project Adventure. This amazing program is mainly used in PE classes across the country. It involves trust and group problem solving. For me, a cartoonist and teacher, I immediately started using it in the classroom to help teach content in new and interesting ways.
Recently, I held a group battle art session after school. I put a huge grid of white paper on the chalkboard in my classroom. This was the art zone. Only two players could be in the "battle zone" at one time. After about a minute, team members had to switch spots. No one could be in the same spot after a switch was called. Each group had a mission that gave them limitations and objectives.
In the end, it turned out great and the students had a great time working together to create some art. This is a great art activity for school. I didn't really need the grid for this activity. The drawing grid helps more when students are planning.
The objective of this battle game started with a scenario:
Your team is a group of mad scientists and you are trying bring a creature to life. Each member of your group is in charge of a section of your creature (head, arms, legs, bodies, etc.). When you connect all of your parts your creature comes to life.
Each group had limitations and objectives:
The Cools: This group could only use cool colors. Blues, purples, etc.
The Warms: This group had to use reds, yellows and oranges.
The Furry Creature: This group was supposed to create hairy creatures in anyway they could.
The Green Creature: Plant-like. Must use greens.
Note: This would have worked much better as an art project, if I had only allowed players who had a specific job into a certain section of the battle zone. I was originally going to give each player a chance to sketch their ideas on the battle, but because of the time limitations I knew that I had to get them creating as soon as possible. Students were actually loving my warm up activity which, if I had it to do over again, I would have kept as the activity for the whole time, but I had billed the activity as group battle art, so I adjusted my game.
It still turned out well. I will going back to this battle art game because kids didn't think about the art they were creating and they were having a blast working together. I have an amazing quick version of this game, that kids love. Any teacher can use it. It is a great transition activity but it can also can be used in the art classroom to get all students to be more creative and working together.