This circle painting stuff has been flying around the art education blogs recently. Check out a few blog posts at My Blog of Art and Elementary Art Fun. A video on circle painting here and a whole website with lots of examples here. I wasn’t going to jump on the circle painting bandwagon but when Randall PTO asked me to create something to auction off to raise money for Neighborhood House, I thought we’d do some collaborative art.
The circle painting was just meant to be an exercise to introduce 3rd graders to the idea of collaborative art work. Their conversations while working and their actual painting fascinated me! They were wonderful at discussing whole ideas, how they decided to work together (take turns or work at once?), sharing space, talking out disagreements and so much more. Their work turned out beautiful and so unique from group to group!
Students began with a simple shape in the middle. Each student had one color to paint with and every five minutes or so they would switch colors. Some groups decided that one at a time would paint. Others decided that they would work all at the same time. Each way presented it’s own problems. The group that decided they would work one at a time found out that their mural wasn’t as filled as the other groups. The group that decided to work all at the same time discovered another problem of respecting others’ space and work.
Each kept growing and growing for the entire art period. None of the students became bored and they were all engaged. There wasn’t one student that wasn’t excited to participate or frustrated at other group members.