Monday, January 20, 2014

Just a Rant

Okay,  I'm hoping for some feedback from this post because this is an issue I face consistently and there has to be a solution out there somewhere on how to fix it.  So, someone, anyone, everyone, share some ideas on what works for you.

I know that in the general classroom, students often illustrate along with their assignments and then add labels to identify the purposes of the illustrations.  This a pet peeve of mine when it spills over into the art room.  I start in Kindergarten telling students that we are not looking for labeling or word bubbles in art work.  I assure them that they are such good artist that it is not necessary to label to let me or anyone else know what their drawing represents.  It always seems to begin when they draw that first picture of their family and everyone receives that label...Dad, Mom, Brother, Dog, etc.  By 5th grade you would expect that I would have them trained but I am still reminding my students to drop the labels.  I've gotten to the point where I tell offenders that in my mind their art just dropped from being art to becoming a classroom project and that I am so disappointed to see a beautiful artwork disfigured.  I honestly have students telling me they never heard me say don't add the words.  I refuse to post their work to their Artsonia galleries if there are words written across the front.  Just to clarify,  art can be made up of words and words can be the focus of art especially in some wonderful pop art examples, this is not what I am referring to with this rant!

So someone, share some magic with me.


  1. I have the same issue with an after school group I teach - they're mostly middle school age and STILL do it... There are a few things I have tried with varying success, but the two that worked best were a lesson based around titles and how they are a window into what the artist was thinking a lesson that included developing an artists mark. On occasion I have also resorted to banning standard writing utensils. Good Luck!

  2. I've gotten lucky and not had a problem with labels. It happens sometimes, but since it's not a huge issue, I don't push to correct it.

    However...I do try to push for students to illustrate what they read. I started an art room library (all books are art-based), and I have students draw a picture of what they read...without labels. I explain that the pictures can also tell a story.

    Maybe throw in a few lessons in the primary years to reinforce what illustrations are and how the pictures themselves tell stories without words?

  3. AMEN! The youngest always seem to be the biggest offenders. Havn't found a lot of my older students doing this.