I used pictures of my then three-month-old to encourage students that EVERYONE is capable of exploring art.
As a teacher, I really liked this. We still had a few kids switching classes, two new students (in the whole building!) and a few absent the first week, and still a myriad of technical problems throughout the school. So, this allowed me to really make sure the rules and procedures were clearly established and known while the school was still settling. Also, the students also got to "make" something!
Kindergarteners met two new friends: Mona Lisa and Harold. We discussed Mona Lisa behavior and then talked all about imagination as they drew another adventure for Harold to take (with a purple crayon, of course!)
First graders learned more history about Mona Lisa, reviewed Mona Lisa expected behavior, and then created a Modern Mona (thank you, Pinterest).
Second graders took the Marshmallow Challenge. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, it's incredible. We actually had a few classes (all different grade levels) do this lesson this week at my school. If you have time, check out this website that also has a great Ted talk about it: Marshmallow Challenge.
Third graders took the Pipe Cleaner Challenge.
Group work was discussed in great detail for second and third grade as they worked to take the challenges.
Fourth grade started an #All About Me Selfie project. We really discussed how you can read a photograph just as you do a work of art. We looked for clues in the selfies I had on the board (a few were their teachers and they got a hoot out of that!) that could tell our smart art brain about the setting, time period, weather, attitude, and much more!
Fifth graders started learning about Zentangles. I've always wanted to teach this and I finally prepared enough to where I felt comfortable imparting this cool (zen-ish) knowledge to my students. From the positive vibes I was getting, this is definitely something they will go back to (the packet and the art are kept in their sketchbooks) all year long to work on.