I like to begin each quarter relearning the elements and principles of art. Then we do a project that I consider a playground to experiment with the elements and principles.
For 6th graders that playground is the Zendala project. I enjoy this project because it is rich with cultural significance but also dashed with a contemporary twist. The idea is they are creating a design that is symbolic of themselves. Every choice they make is a step towards personal expression. The first decision everyone makes is what type of balance they would like to use - radial, symmetrical, or asymmetrical. I don't hold back that radial is a challenge for me personally, since it requires such precision; it would drive me crazy. Although some do enjoy this challenge. We are all different and this simple fact should be celebrated in everything we do and make.