If you are an art teacher, how do your students become familiar with the classroom, find classroom supplies, and understand classroom procedures? The first few days of school it is important to let your students know what is expected of them as well as let them know how to get around the room and find what they need.
In those first few days students are already overwhelmed with forms to fill out, supply lists, classroom rules, and parent letters to take home. I wanted to teach my students how to move around the room and how to get supplies without my help. So this year I had my students go on a scavenger hunt. No, they did not have to collect and bring back items. They were asked to create a drawing of the room, to label places and items in the room, and to also answer some questions about procedures. By the way, this assignment was for High School students.
So what exactly did I do?
I divided the students into groups of two to three. Each group was given a large piece of paper and told to draw a bird’s eye diagram of the classroom. A list of items to be drawn and labeled was handed out to each group also. Group members had to decide what jobs they would be responsible for. Mainly one person was the artist and the others had to find things in the room.
In order to help the students understand what some items were, I labeled them with signs. Here are some examples of things on the list:
- Areas the students are not allowed to go in the room. I called it the “Off Limits Area,”
- Where to turn in homework,
- Areas certain art supplies are kept,
- Where to go in the event of a fire,
- Trash cans,
- Drying racks,
- and light boxes.
I made a poster explaining a reward system I use in class. Students had to answer questions about the system as well.
In order to make the assignment a little more fun, I made it a race. The first three teams that answered all questions and did the diagram with labels won a reward. The reward was WOW points. WOW points count as extra credit towards a test or daily grade. At the beginning of the assignment, the students did not even know what WOW points were. By the end of the assignment they did.
The great thing; I did not have to teach the students. They taught themselves. They worked in groups and had fun as they worked. I enjoyed watching my students explore the room and find the items on their scavenger list. They now know where things are in the art room. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure how this would go over with High School students, but it was a hit. I plan on doing this activity at the beginning of every year.