Students lead art lessons after mastering skills

Students lead art lessons after mastering skills
Posted on 05/03/2024
OES-Art-Lessons-WEB.pngStudents in Brian Adams’ art class at Oakville Elementary School have been leading art lessons for their classmates after mastering skills. The experience is beneficial for both students leading and participating in the lessons.

Adams leads a choice-based art program which encourages students to create in a way that aligns with their interests. Students have the freedom to choose from a menu of options each day including painting, free drawing, crafting, collaging, jewelry making and sewing. They can also choose to participate in a mini-lesson designed by Mr. Adams.

Lesson for women's history month
Image: Samantha leads a lesson for other fifth-grade students about artist Georgia O'Keeffe. 

After mastering a skill they’re interested in, students can approach Adams about teaching the skill to other students. After participating in a Black History Month lesson created by Adams, Samantha, a fifth-grade student, was inspired to create her own lesson for Women’s History Month. She developed a lesson to teach other fifth-grade students about Georgia O’Keeffe, an American painter. 

“I wanted to do this project because I think it’s important for women to be recognized during this month,” said Samantha. “Most of the students created drawings, oil pastels and water color paintings of flowers in Georgia O’Keeffe’s style.” 

Other student-led lessons include the creation of three-dimensional dragon puppets, creating sculptures out of cardboard and photo editing. Jett, a third-grade student, taught kindergarten classes how to draw dinosaurs.

“I’ve been drawing dinosaurs since I was four-years-old,” said Jett. “I liked teaching the kindergarteners how to do something that I’m good at.” 

Jett leads lesson on dinosaurs
Image: Jett leads kindergarten students in a step-by-step lesson to draw a T-rex.

Having student-led lessons has been beneficial for all of the students in Adams’ classes.

“The students leading the lessons are demonstrating that they’ve mastered art skills and helping to develop their leadership skills,” said Adams. “The younger students are being introduced to skills that I’ll be teaching later on. For example, a lot of the kindergarteners are learning drawing techniques right now that we’ll focus on in first and second grades.” 

Leading lessons has helped students like Jett, who describes himself as shy, gain more confidence. 

“Before I started, I was scared because this was the first time I presented in front of a lot of people,” said Jett. “In the middle, I started to feel a lot better about myself because they were telling me I did a good job drawing the dinosaurs.” 

The Mehlville School District strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees, students or others on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or sex including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity and other characteristics protected by law. The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: contact Adam Smith at 314-467-5006 or [email protected].