Loyola University Maryland

Emerging Scholars

Memuna McShane

Instilling Motivation in my Fifth Graders through Art

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Abstract:

This action research project aimed to find ways I could encourage my students to initiate tasks related to art projects focused on the study of texture. To begin my project, and in order to better understand what motivated my 5th grade students, both extrinsically and intrinsically, I observed my 5th grade class for one weeks during their independent work time during a project related to two-point perspective landscapes. From these initial observations, I suspected the students were distracted from their artwork because they were talking with their peers. I wondered if I could leverage their investment in these friendships and social relationships as I sought to develop their motivations related to certain artwork. So, I put them in groups and had them create a group project on their travel footprint across the United States of America. They had to trace the map of the United States of America and create logos that represented: where they live, where they have been and where they want to go. The materials they used were color pencil and marker. Through observation, I noticed that my 5th grade students were invested in and focused on their work throughout the duration of the project. Through observations and quick interviews the 5th graders liked the aspect of working with their peers to achieve a goal. They also felt more relaxed about creating content when it was personal art. After seeing the results, I decided to keep creating group work lessons.