When I told the students that we woulld be having a funeral for "I can't", most of them thought I was crazy.... just exactly what I wanted them to think! Ha. That way they never expect what's going to happen. Makes life interesting.
I started off the lesson having a discussion about things we can't do. The things I can't do that I told the students included a cartwheel (yes, I'm 29 & can't do a cartwheel!) & drive a stick shift car.
***On a side note, I vow to accomplish both of these by the end of the year to show the students we can do the things we think we can't. And I'm having a heck of a time trying to motivate myself to learn stick!***
So I then asked the students to create a list of things they think they couldn't do.... some students had a list a mile long, while others students struggled to come up with one or two things! They then created drawings of what they think they can't do. I also used the drawings to evaluate their drawing skills, since they were brand new students to me.
After we completed our drawings, we were going to put our drawings into a "casket" (just a cardboard box with a lid that said "RIP". Then we were going to talk about letting go of "I can't". Well, that's when things took a turn for the worse. The art teacher, who was previously in my position, passed away. The students & staff were devastated. I never met her, but heard many stories about her & how she taught, & how the students looked up to her. I knew I had big shoes to fill. My main concern was how the students were going to process coming into the art room & handing the situation....and what on earth was I going to do with my lesson?! There was no way I could have a funeral for "I can't"! I talked to my principal & to another art teacher to try to gain my bearings for this lesson. Quickly we decided to change it from the "I can't" funeral to sending "I can't" away. I created a huge package out of yellow paper & put an address on it from somewhere near the North Pole & told the students our artwork would be sent off so we can't think of "I can't" anymore & that at the end of the year we would get the package back from the North Pole & see if we have accomplished any of our things we couldn't do & also see if our art skills have improved.
It's a little blurry, but you get the point.
Their "I can't" artwork hanging before I "mailed" it away!
I was amazed how many students actually took something away from this! I rarely have a student tell me they can't do something. Just recently, I had a student say, "Miss McCracken, I need help!" A light bulb went off for me! I realized I had a break through with at least one student! What a great feeling!