#1: Paper Bag Houses
When I start off the year asking students what types of art-making they enjoy, such as drawing and painting, I always add, "and who likes building with Legos?" Inevitably, those few hands that might not yet have been raised shoot in the air with excited expressions. I assure my students that building with blocks and similar toys taps into your creativity. Children are naturally good at playing and building, so I like to shake off the dust from our summer vacation and jump right into a project that gets these young artist to dive right in. Using our "Artist Eyes" to transform boring paper bags into all types of houses was a great place to start. Day one involved filling, folding, assembling, and adding collage elements. Day two was the time to learn how to create pop-ups and add a backyard and street to their scene.