I love this lesson. Don't get me wrong. It's not me. It's them, my students. You see, my students are absolute perfectionists when it comes to their art work. If it doesn't come out looking exactly like mine, many will give up, throw it away or keep starting over till we run out of time. I try to explain that sometimes happy accidents yield better work. It doesn't need to be perfect as long as they try their best.
I found this lesson several years ago and have used it to combat this mentality. The kids start out curious, grow wary and then look at the final product in horror. It's called a Unique Drawing Experience. The kids sit in a big circle. They each have a sheet of drawing paper and a pencil. I have them draw a simple thing like a line from one side of the paper to the other, or a zig zag line from the top to the bottom. Then they pass their paper to the person to their right. That person then draws a shape like a square, circle, triangle, etc, whatever I think of at the time. Sometimes I make it up and sometimes I have a list premade. This goes on until the paper gets back to its original owner. I then tell them I'm not grading them on how well the design looks but on how well they color it. I immediately get cries of anger because so and so messed up their paper, or this person drew an ugly shape or line and ruined it. They had no control over the creation of the design, just it's coloring.
I have gotten the most beautiful original looking creations from this project, but the students almost all hate it.
Am I really an evil teacher that delights in the torture of my students? Is it worth all the grumbling to get through it? Yes, in the end I believe so...and yes, I probably am evil. They turn out looking fantastic. I wish I had one to show. I'm going to do this project again when we come back from Christmas break and will show some then.