Monday, November 15, 2010

VAEA - Session on Using the Visual Journal in the Classroom

I have been keeping my own visual journals for a few years.  They tend to be conglomerations of note taking, sketches, collage, photo montage, my granddaughter's art, paper cutting, thoughts and ideas.  Not only do I enjoy the activity of creating journal pages, other folks seem to enjoy browsing through them. 

Since I have been curious as to how I could use visual journals in the elementary art room, I attended the session "The Visual Journal and Creative Possibilities"at the Virginia Art Education Association conference.  The presenters were Eric Scott and David Modler.  They have a blog called "Journal Fodder Junkies" and a book titled The Journal Junkies Workshop.

The presenters said that their own journals are used as personal tools for:

--art making
--meaning making

They described the qualities of manufactured journal books that you can purchase and then described ways that kids can create their own.  They can be as fancy and high quality as your budget permits, or can be as low tech as folded drawing paper stapled together on the side.

For their high school students, the journal is a self directed activity.  Friday is their designated "journal day," though students are required to put in a certain number of hours in the journal during the week on their own time.  They experiment with techniques in the journal; take notes there; and work through their own ideas.

The presenters' book is interesting but not geared towards the classroom.  It contains a lot of techniques for creating different kinds of art in a journal.  I wish they would write a book on how to use the visual journal in a classroom and show lots of examples of student work. 

I'll write this week about what my students are doing in their journals and maybe show my own as well.


Julie said...

I am looking forward to saeeing your students, and your work too! I am big on making journals, but not so great at using them for anything...I just fizzle out when it comes to that part!

LDH said...

Creative journals ~ a great place for thoughts and notes and a place to preserve snippets of artistic impulses. Enjoyment for the creator and the reader :)

jackie said...

this really intrigues me. several times i've made an attempt at doing a journal like this, but some unknown fear (maybe fear of the blank page or messing up) keeps from doing it.
i can only imagine what will be created by your kids.

Snippety Gibbet said...

I can understand how daunting it might feel to do a journal. My fear for when I take the online journal class is that I will produce a journal that look like someone else's. I pretty much do ink drawings and scherenschnitte in mine. jj

jackie said...

Teesha Moore has some excellent videos on You Tube about journaling and one on making your own journal. I intend to use the idea with my day centre group - although some of them cannot use scissors,which will mean a lot of cutting up for me!