Thursday, March 14, 2013


Don't you hate it when your high school students complain about having nothing to draw? One of the first assignments I gave each year was for the students to create a morgue (call it an image reference library if you want; my kids liked the illustrator's term "morgue" better). This solved MANY problems of students forgetting an image on the day it was due, or finishing early with nothing to draw. During the first week, I would give them the morgue as an assignment.

They had to find 10 images that inspired them. I accepted pictures, calendars, ephemera, postcards, cd covers, concert tickets. My only rule was it had to be printed out. Don't ask to show me 10 pictures of your cat that are in your phone. I gave the students 1 point for every image (up to 10 per kid).  The images were clipped or stapled together and placed in a portable hanging file folder.

I like the kind with the 2" wide bottom. You can fit 120 students in one box. They had immediate access to the pictures and they stopped complaining there was nothing to draw. Want to try it? My classroom tested assignment sheet is now up on TpT and ready for you to photocopy!

Some of the benefits were letting the students start the year with something "easy" that was an insignificant amount of points. I would walk around the room to check their morgues and it was a great conversation starter...."Oh, you like the Black Keys/Twilight/One Direction or I see you love the Steelers."

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