I like to start off the year with a "what is art" discussion. This opens up great conversation with the older students and very creative (and quite comical) responses from the younger ones. It is a nice to way to kick off the year in the art room. Answers vary from "a different way of thinking" and "using paint to create real and abstract things" to "a sensation of colors", "messy", and "FUN"! The 7th and 8th grade students are created sketchbooks using recycled pamphlets and altered book techniques. The 6th, 5th, and 4th graders are making Artist Trading Cards (ATC). Both of these are year long projects with different subjects each time. The 3rd graders are created signs that explain what art is and the 2nd and 1st graders are making self-portraits that will be used to show their growth later on in the year.