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66  chapter 3 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Displaying Children’s Art Displaying children’s art is very important. It should be displayed year-round. Try to hang art- work at two heights: low, so children can easily see it, and high, so adults can easily read any docu- mentation panels that may be included. Present a diversity of paintings, drawings, photos, and lan- guage. Hang the work on the classroom walls or on bulletin boards. Here are some tips for displaying art in the class- room: Art outdoors changes the experience. Layering and Revisiting Previous Work • If using a bulletin board, keep the backing simple and without designs. A solid color will accent the children’s work without becoming distracting. Younger children learn best through hands-on ex- periences. This often includes revisiting previous work, repeating techniques, or trying something different. There is great benefit to allowing children to explore and to explore some more. Layering work involves bringing out an old project and adding a new dimension. For any lay- ering activity, the first layer is paint. The layering can continue using more paint, as well as adding other materials and mediums of art production. For example, on the first day, the project could begin with darker shades of paint and rollers. The second day could bring lighter tints of paint and brushes, possibly even thinner brushes. And fur- ther yet, the third day could bring oil pastels col- ored on top. Numerous possibilities exist! You can try many techniques, chosen either by you or by the children themselves. Work can last for weeks this way. Sometimes you might chose to put the work away and bring it back out after several days or weeks. Should you choose to give them a fresh start, painting on a base color creates a clean can- vas. You could then add textures, paints, glue, and assorted materials. The possibilities are endless! In my experience, the more you and the children ex- periment with this, the more ideas you will develop. • Consider using a backing of fabric instead of paper, as the fabric will last all year (or longer) and won’t fade or show staple holes. • Don’t overcrowd the artwork. • Trim artwork only if necessary. Be certain not to disturb the child’s actual work, for instance, by cutting their work into a shape to fit a theme. • Borders are fine as long as they do not distract from the children’s work. Simple is best. • Mounting children’s work gives definition and adds beauty. I often use black poster board cut in half as a year-long mounting for each child’s work throughout the year. It holds twelve-by- eighteen-inch paper, and you can secure a label at the bottom with the child’s name typed on. • Children’s language about their work can be added, as well as teacher dictation about the process and the emotions of the child during the experience. • Adding photos of the children taken while they are working on the art really captures the true experience. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL