Collaborative Art


 Collaborative art projects teach teamwork, communication skills, how to listen to directions and to each other, and to respect everyone’s contributions. These projects help build a sense of community in the classroom.

  • This is a great project for the beginning of the school year when students are getting to know each other.
  • It is also good for the end of the year as a final project or a gift for the teacher.
The downside: the younger the student, the more difficulty they have “sharing” their art work with someone else. A student may get frustrated with another student who is not being respectful or that the student perceives is “messing up” their work. Even in the case of creating a collaborative gift for their teacher at the end of the year can result in some younger students becoming upset that they don’t get to take their portion of the project home with them.
  • For younger grades, have kids make a smaller version of your collaborative project so they have their own to take home. This could be in the form of a drawing of the main project if it can’t be replicated (such as glass).
  • Take a photo of the group project (if given to the teacher) and email it to parents for children to have their own copy.
  • Talk about what a privilege it is to make this project together, and how special it will be for their teacher as a memory of the year.
Experts say that it’s important to teach students the skill of collaboration. Working with others is an important ability in today’s workplace.
  • Talk to students about listening to others and being respectful, doing their best work, and being flexible about the choices others make.
  • Ask students to make positive comments about the work once it’s finished. Everyone can find one thing they like about the project, even if it didn’t turn out the way they envisioned. Sometimes “happy accidents” occur, making something even more interesting and unexpected.