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Whole School Art Based Activities: Drawing Forth The Best From Creative Arts Students

Arts based subjects can be linked to any other subjects that a teacher deems desirable. This is because the Creative Arts are by definition a combination of multiple styles and forms of literacy.

For this example we will look specifically at how Literacy, Numeracy and Emotional Literacy can come together as expression through a project that has been devised to include the entire student population of a school.


The children will create a handmade Career Awareness Book similar to the Zillmere Story Book in appearance. The essential purpose of both books is to include participants in projects that give the participants an experience of authorship, experience as an illustrator, and a feeling of belonging.

This book called “Stepping Up To Challenges” has a school based locus of organisation and will have a specific focus on Emotional Literacy. It will be linked to the school wide focus of Emotional Literacy called Programme Achieve – Art Classrooms.

  • Each student will be invited to vision the type of career they would like to experience in the future. (when they leave school)
  • Teachers could talk to the children about motherhood, fatherhood and home care being a vocation.
  • Teachers might talk about volunteering as this is a very real option for some at particular life stages.
  • Students can be grouped into similar types of future aspirations. For example, firemen and rescue services might decide to group together.
  • The students are encouraged to look at the kinds of challenges that lay ahead if they choose to enter this profession or lifestyle.
  • When the students are grouped into clusters of three and four, have each one take a challenge and draw their dream future.
  • The drawings can be characterisations, cartoons, assemblages, collage or sculptural. If the work is sculptural they will need to digitally photograph it and work on it in Photoshop.
  • When these drawings or images are complete to the best of the students ability, the teacher may suggest some enhancements talking about the level of polish needed when publishing artworks.
  • The images will then be placed on the pages of the book.
  • This process will be explained in the coming article InDesign.
  • The images created by the group will be accompanied by a paragraph placed in relation to the image.
  • The text will explain the nature of the challenge and the steps the student would need to go through to achieve this dream.

Together these images will make up the “Stepping Up To Challenges” – Career Awareness Book. There are 700 students at Mary MacKillop Catholic Parish Primary Birkdale. As the project unfolds lets see if it is possible to include each and everyone of them in this dream project.