When perusing art education blogs I feel some guilt, along with the inspiration. There are many materials that I just don't use simply because I have a personal aversion to them. On the top of my list are:
- Chalk Pastels
- Tempera (any kind)
- Construction paper
These may as well be the holy trinity of elementary art education materials... but I just can't bring myself to use them regularly (if at all!) in my classes.
Chalk pastels are messy, break easily, and do not last for the whole year. The work created with them is also so ephemeral, and having no classroom ventilation or convenient outdoor space to fix finished work means too much hassle.
Tempera goes bad so quickly, dries to a chalky finish, and the dry tempera pucks seem so dull, without a full array of colors.
Construction paper fades almost immediately once displayed, unless you pay for some really fantastic fade-proof stuff (and if you're doing that, why not spring for nicer paper anyway?)
Taking a hard look at myself, these are silly reasons not to use materials... and I'm being a bit of a snob. I'm going to challenge myself to craft some lessons around those materials.... because they are FUN, and because kids love them. Maybe I'll even start to love them, too. We'll see how this goes.