The BEST End of Year, Low-Prep Art Lessons & FREE Printable Challenge for Your Classroom
End of Year is fast approaching and I know that as an Art Educator, you have a lot on your plate so I have come up with the BEST, Low-Prep, End of Year Art Lessons and have made you a FREE Printable Challenge for your classroom. Let’s dive into it! #endofyear
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Get into the End of Year Mindset
End of Year always seems to creep up on us. We are in the busiest part of the school year when suddenly… the Last Day of School is only a month away and A LOT has to happen. Not only do you have to tidy up learning and finish units, but you also have to have smaller lessons planned to wind down the year and that are flexible for the ever changing time-line (things always seem to pop up or you have to plan for Field Day/Sports Day). As well, you are trying to re-organize and de-clutter the classroom so that way you can have everything torn down and ready-to-go prior to your vacation time. There is really a lot to do so having some low-prep, easy to do but engaging and impactful art lesson ideas truly is the way to approach that final stretch of the school year.
Winding the Classroom Down
You really need to wind down your classroom starting around a month and a half to the last day. I add on extra BECAUSE the last weeks really some times are taken up by testing or school wide initiatives or activities or classroom parties or what not. Anyway I am not saying you should make it known to kids that the winding down is happening (because you don’t want to loose them and have them go wild with excitement) but you should starting ending big projects and begin to organize/de clutter and go through your own checklist of what needs to get done before you leave.
This might be getting rid of things in your room (de-cluttering) that you haven’t used for a year. Recycle old filing cabinet handouts that have been passed on or out-of-date resources. This should also happen on your computer: recycle old files and your downloads folder. I guarantee you that if you haven’t opened it in a year you will never, ever use it.
Go through art mediums in your cupboards and drawers and clean/organize. If you are too afraid to get rid of things, honestly, get your students to help who are ahead and LOVE to help. You know who they are. Get them to take ownership of your classroom. Have them wash drawers, bins, re-attached fallen labels, wash and clean paintbrushes, and declutter. Give them permission to get rid of things that are no longer usable and if they are unsure, ask them to come show you it OR have them put it into a pile before you recycle it.
But trust me, they are probably right.
Complete Paperwork or Assessment
Get all your assessments and paperwork that your district or admins wants done. Get it done earlier than expected so you can relax in the last weeks and peace out for vacation with your mind at ease. The longer you procrastinate, the worse it is going to feel when you are approaching the deadline. Just do a little bit each day before work and you’ll be done in no time.
Prep your Back to School Game Plan
Okay I honestly know this is insane, but make it a routine to write down or even photocopy some things for back to school and put them in a bin or folder. You can even do this digitally like in a folder that you have on your computer. Either way, write or type things for “Day 1”, “Day 2, etc. Have at least an idea, if not full plan with things you will photocopy (just have the master ready to go) so that you can leave for vacation ALREADY KNOWING your week 1 is done. Then when you arrive for Back to School, your first week is ALREADY ready to go. No going in super early, no stress, no fighting to use the photocopier…. just relax. There are bigger worries ahead ;). Click here to GRAB some End of Year Worksheets designed for an Art Classroom to solve more planning needs!
Low-Prep End of Year Art Lesson Ideas
Okay so I know that I said I would talk about some end of year ideas and then went on a rant about things you need to do, but honestly, they are sooo important and I know that if you do them, your world will transform and you will feel confident and ready for the year. And if you really want to level-up your Back to School next school year, you will get the Art Curriculum that will transform your life forever and have you saying “I am done planning” with your enrollment. Artastic Collective Art Curriculum for Art Educators opens for enrollment on August 1st so make sure you preview this art curriculum now by clicking here. So many art educators have already experienced the transformation and stress-free planning and you could be next.
Click here to download my Free Art Projects that you can use in your classroom!
Observational Drawing Scavenger Hunt Sketchbook Assignments
The first End of Year art Lesson idea is to set up a scavenger hunt for things to find; either the task cards OR objects. You can do this with all your classes, just keep it simple enough but have the expectation for the observational drawing be the thing that changes for each grade or individual artist. Make an Anchor Chart OR graphic you project that will have 5 – 10 things that students have to find and create observational drawings with a choice medium (yes, build in student choice!) and in their sketchbooks (or on paper if you want).
The point of hiding the task cards is to just add another layer of engagement or movement into the classroom during those end of year wiggles. As well, it’ll create a road block for the students and might make this drag out over couple classes.
No matter which you choose, give them a list of things they must find and draw, either written on the task cards they must find (use them year after year!) OR on the anchor chart or graphic. Ideas can include: “find and draw a view from a school window”, “find and draw a stubby pencil”, “find and draw a crunched up piece of paper”, “find and draw your friend’s shoe but also turn it into a monster”. Just be creative with it and add the odd twist to the to keep the kids excited about doing it.
Turn your Whiteboard into a Choice board
On your whiteboard or on Canva (make a graphic and kids can scan a QR code to download it to their phone or you can put it on your class blog) or an anchor chart (whatever it is, use this EVERY YEAR) draw a grid like a tic-tac-toe board and in each one, write a drawing prompt. Over the next few classes, kids must choose a prompt and choice art medium to create and have to create 3 of the 9 prompts on the board or in the graphic. Not only will this last a few classes and save you planning time, but it gives student choice and they can even do these in sketchbooks. Oh, and when they’re done they can do a 4th one for bonus marks. Oh yea!
End of Year Art Challenges with FREE PRINTABLE
Similar to “Inktober”, create a list of things that you challenge the students to draw. This is a perfect sketchbook assignment that is a Drawing Challenge and is one that you can use every year and is also low prep because you need 1 list and the rest the students will take care of in terms of mediums. If you want, you can offer some sort of completion incentive. BONUS is that I already made you a list that you can download here for free to take care of your last month of school preparing needs while you tackle the list of things you NEED to take care of that I told you about at the start of this. I am here to help you level up your Art Teachin’ BOSS game. So hit the button below to download the list now and I will see you next time.