These circle paintings were an awesome way to kick off our school year in third grade art! We were inspired by circlepainting.org, and I will absolutely do this lesson again. The simple concept was that each table of students would work together to make a collaborative painting based on circles. The paintings were started by one group member painting a circle in the middle of the paper. Then everyone else could begin painting. We agreed that everyone was to play an important role in their group's painting, and that no one would completely cover up any work that another artist had done (although overlapping was encouraged!). As a group, each class came up with artist expectations and also consequences for artists who did not meet the expectations. We then had virtually no behavior issues at all as the students worked. They were excited and really enjoyed this.
This process was all about inclusion and collaboration. We stopped along the way to discuss the artworks and the students were encouraged to keep their conversations related to their painting. We spent three classes working on the paintings (we used skinnier brushes each time), and it really was an easy way to get the kids back into the artmaking process as well as our art room procedures.
I poured lots of different colors of paint into individual cups so that each student could have one. As the students were working, I gave them special instructions every few minutes to pass their paint and brush to the person to their right, or to keep the same color but to move to a different space at the table. This helped to keep students interested and focused during their studio time. I LOVED THIS PROJECT!