Sunday, July 16, 2017

Review of Scholastic Art Magazine

Congrats to Audrey as she is the winner of the giveaway!

Recently, Scholastic Art sent me 2016-2017 magazines and resources to review. They have also allowed me to give away a class set of  Scholastic Art magazines. Details on how to win are below.

          When I opened my sample copies, I discovered that the magazine also contains a 2-sided poster along with a teacher's guide and online resources. But more about that later. The magazine is bright and colorful and instantly draws you into the content inside. The magazine is very well organized. The magazine is thinnish, but its content is not.  I would love to see them use a different sort of paper to give it a different feel, but I know how expensive printing costs can be.

The first two pages are Art News and Notes which I found very current and trending. I especially loved reading the blurb on the Space Suit Art Project. I found the Art News and Notes spread a great way to connect the current art world to students. Some of the content I had seen online and trending on Facebook and instagram.


            The next section of the magazine is the Spotlight, which echo the artwork and names on the cover. The Spotlight includes between one to four artists in about an 8-page spread and includes art history, analysis, and Q&A with the artists. The last few pages of Spotlight are focused on modern and contemporary connections. The content was thoughtful and age appropriate for students to understand. I was excited to see Jenny Holzer in one of the Spotlight series as her work is at MASSMOcA and I recently brought student there. (Eighty 5th graders, 120 7th graders and twenty 8th graders to be exact. All on different days, of course with many teachers and chaperons). Anytime a student is exposed to an artist's work in multiple ways, they grasp the concepts so much better.

                 The next section was the Debate page. The debate each month included a current and relevant topic relating to art and gives students the information for them to draw their own conclusions and explore further questions. It asks students to craft their own argument and to even go online and add their opinion on the site. I imagine I could give extra credit for this, or even make it part of an assignment.

              The Student of the Month page followed and featured students who won either a gold or silver key in the Scholastic Art and Writing awards. It was really cool to see the artwork of these talented students and read their stories of their artwork. I was very impressed with the talent of these young adults. They must be so proud!

               The next spread was the Hands-on Project. Each issue included a lesson plan for students to create artwork inspired by the theme of the issue. Rather than a lesson plan, its actually a student centered step by step tutorial that is categorized into 3 steps and a short list of materials, making the project not intimidating or complicated to start. There is also a "Watch a Video" prompt and when you go online; there is a short video that explains the steps. This is especially useful for differentiating teaching to have the directions both in print and in video format.

              The back cover is the last page and features Great Art Jobs. It is a Q&A with a professional who is employed in an art profession. The professions that are chosen are in line with that month's theme. These were really interesting to read and all professions were so different from each other. My favorite to read about was the Color Specialist at Pantone. I want her job!

             The teacher insert is a guide that is full of resources to work with alongside the magazine. Standards are listed for administration that wants to see them, along with enduring understandings and essential questions. The lesson plans that correlate to the content in the magazine include everything you need. They make it easy as it's all there for you. There is also an Elementary Teaching Guide Insert to use with younger students, as the magazine seems to be geared to middle and high. I teach 5th-8th, so I could definitely make use if the Elementary Teaching Guide insert for my 5th classes. The insert also includes worksheets, graphic organizers, and sketchbook starters.

           In addition to the teacher's insert, the magazine comes with a double-sided poster. I have mixed feelings about the posters as its folded in fours, leaving creases. I would love to see them ship it in a tube and use better paper. It's the same paper that is used in the magazines. The posters are beautifully printed and the color is great, but the quality of the paper and the creases detracts from it, for me at least. Nevertheless, I was super excited about the We Can Do It Poster and will definitely be hanging that up in my classroom.

           The last resource that comes with the magazine is the online tools. Each issue has its own page online that contains a digital version of the magazine, downloads of the worksheets that are in the teacher guide, the video of the Hands-on Project, a slideshow, downloads of the posters, a debate page, where student or teachers can add their own opinions to the current discussion from the Debate page in the magazine, and a video from one of the artists featured in Spotlight. Teachers can also go back and see the resources of past issues.

          Overall, Scholastic Art Magazine is concise, relevant, accessible, has rich content, is engaging and well-organized. I would need to figure out how to use it in my classroom effectively. The things I would have to think about are:

1. What grade or grades would be using these? I teach about 25-30 different sections a year with 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. My class sizes range from 18-26. How could I make this work?

2. Would the students keep the magazine at the end of the unit, or would I reuse them (then they would be dog eared and less appealing).

3. Could I buy extra back issues if I wanted to do a unit again, or should I just use the online resources for future classes?

Maybe Scholastic Art Magazine can help me with some of these questions.

Now on to the prize!  Scholastic Art Magazine is giving me a class set to give TO ONE OF YOU!


1. Leave a comment on my blog 
2. Follow my instagram: mvrms_art

That's it!

I will pick a winner in 4 weeks on Aug. 16th.
Please make sure you leave your email for me so I may contact you.
I will also post the winner on my blog and instagram.
If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be picked. 

© Mrs. Malone-Smith