5 Ways to Extend Student Work After Lockdown

By The Arty Teacher - February 23, 2021

This blog post details 5 ways to extend student work after lockdown.  I’ve seen a lot of art teachers on social media worrying about the quantity of work their students have created in lockdown.  First things first, don’t worry you are not alone.  You are not the only one who is worrying like crazy that your students don’t have enough work.  Remember, you can only do your best with the time given. We are all in the same boat.

I’ve been putting my thinking cap on about how to extend the work my students have created once I get them back in school. Some of these ideas are very obvious but I always feel more prepared when armed with a list.  I’m sure we all have students who have thrived and been creative in lockdown but these ideas are aimed at those with very little work.

1) Developing Photography Using Apps

If your students have taken photographs, get them to create a second page in their sketchbook where they manipulate the photographs in Apps.  Before you do this, you might help them one-to-one to select their best photos and improve some of them with cropping.  They could then consider the following:

i) Changing the colour or texture using filters. This can be done in PicsArt or Snapseed.

Ways to Extend Student Work After Lockdown

Above, an average photo is dramatically improved with cropping and by increasing the brightness and contrast.  A black and white photo is useful for drawing from and for monoprinting. The last photo has been created using the double exposure feature in Snapseed.

ii) Add bright filters. Using the free Pop Art Camera app gives you 4 coloured filters in one go. They can then be printed and presented separately in a sketchbook. Of course, if your student is looking at Pop Art they can present them all together.

Using Pop Art Lite App


2) Developing Existing Drawings and Paintings in Apps.

Similar to developing photographs, students can develop with own work in Apps.

Adding text to an image can be powerful and is a great way to develop work and make links to a chosen theme.  The great thing about working this way is that so many ideas can be tried out, fairly quickly, saved to the camera roll and printed.  One drawing can be turned into 10 pieces of work.  The text on the eye image below was added using the free App ‘PicsArt’ and the text on top of the tool monoprint was added using the PicCollage App, also free.

For a list of artists who add text to images, look at my ‘Artists Listed by Theme Page’ under ‘Art & Words’.

Adding Text to an Image

Adding Text to an ImageExperimenting with filters in an App is legitimate personal development. Students can aim to make connections with the filters they apply to the artists they have studied or they can just experiment as part of their personal response. The filters below were added using PicsArt.  Another good App to try is Snapseed.

Eyes with PicsArt Filters

3) Monoprinting a Photo or Drawing

Students can create a monoprint in one lesson if you are organised.  I like to demonstrate monoprinting the lesson before and get students to select what they are going to monoprint in advance too.  I then ask them to remember the process at the start of the lesson which is much quicker than demonstrating. With a little planning your whole class could have an extra piece of work in one lesson.

4) Photocopy or Scan a Drawing or Painting and Add Collage

Do your students have a drawing that they could add collage to?  The pointillism drawing of barnacles below has been enlarged on the photocopier and then collage has been applied.  I could add more collage or perhaps watercolour next.

Ways to Extend Student Work After Lockdown

5) Xerox Art

It may be appropriate for your student’s line of enquiry to create some Xerox Art.  Using their own drawing or photograph they simply place it on the photocopier and move it as the light passes across the bed of the photocopier. It creates wonderful distorted image. These could then be stand-alone development in a sketchbook or pushed further by using one of the methods above.

Your student(s) could look into Andy Warhol as he famously made Xerox art.

Ways to Extend Student Work After Lockdown

These are just a few ideas and I’m sure you’ll have more of your own.  Why not comment below if you have ways to extend student work after lockdown.

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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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4 responses to “5 Ways to Extend Student Work After Lockdown”

  1. Wonderful! Definitely a timely article right now! Our school in New Hampshire, USA is in person but has a large number of students who are remote and doing asynchronous learning. We are being encouraged to develop lessons that can be done at home by all in lieu of a snow day–that means the in-person students would need to bring home work or use what they have on hand at the last minute to create art. The thinking is that we don’t have to add more days onto the end of the school year due to those missed due to snow. I’ve been encouraging students to upload what they are working on every week in google classroom so that I can track their progress, but this would be a great way to take those sketches that are in google classroom and manipulate them at home with very little preparation ahead of time. I’ve been struggling with figuring out what to do for these emergency lessons, since I wanted to keep some continuity with the lesson we were in the middle of doing. I am curious about the monoprinting. Can you explain the process you are referring to in this article? I’ve had students use paint on aluminum foil OR washable markers (like Crayola) on clear plastic to create monoprints, but I’d like to hear how you do it. So excited for these possabilities! Thank you again for this article.

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      Hi Brandie, As this post is about tasks to do when students return to school, I would monoprint in school as follow: Students ink up an acrylic sheet of plastic with a very thin layer of printing ink, blot with newsprint, stick down a sheet of newsprint. Stick a photo/image on top and then get students to trace over the image. Use line, mark-making and pressure to achieve lines and tonal areas. The ink will transfer onto the newsprint. I hope that helps. Sarah

  2. Kay Phillips says:

    Brilliant! Thank you for sharing :).

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