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Sequencing - Art TherapyArt can be a fun and different approach for enhancing and developing sequencing skills. While the process of creating art involves free expression it also requires the very concrete execution of sequencing tasks to achieve it. This is the beauty and the complexity of the creative process.

Planning and Prioritizing

During the beginning phase of an art project a student is deciding where to start and continually deciding what they need to do next. Once a student has been taught some basic skills like how to use a paint brush , clay tools etc…. they can begin to make decisions about where to start and what might come next.

Tips to Encourage Planning:

  • Demonstrate how to do a project. The artist can observe and watch all of the steps for completing the project.
  • Have the artists do the art project. Ask the student what the first step is, as they complete it ask the student what the next step is. Let the student continue to figure out what they do next.
  • If the student artist struggles help them to break down the steps or create a list for them to follow.
  • Have the artist do the project again and see how many steps they can remember on their own. If using a list give them half the steps and see if they can remember and order the steps on their own.

Experimenting and Adjusting

The middle of an art project can be a great place for students to learn cause and effect and how to change and control cause and effect. Using the paintbrush one way makes the paint look a certain way.  Using the brush another way makes it look completely different. This is about as concrete as it gets. The student is experimenting and adjusting with steps and tasks to get to the end result they want. They are adding new steps and having this process reinforced. The artist is adjusting as they go and new possibilities arise and circumstances change. They are also learning how to express their ideas and discoveries.

Tips to Foster Experimentation:

  • Demonstrate for the artist different ways to use art materials and tools.  Show different techniques so that they can be exposed to some new possibilities.  They will be more willing to experiment and try new things if they have a few options that they can start with.
  • Artists may not have a lot of experience working with art materials and may be too nervous or shy to venture out of the comfort zone of very basic knowledge they may have. Encourage them and remind them they can choose a few things they might want to try that are new.

Shifting and Checking

When a student is ending a project they are looking and determining if there are any more steps they need or want to take to get the effect they want. Are there any details they need or want to add? Did they complete it? They are deciding and analyzing. They can add another step or two. They can change something they did earlier. They are learning to follow their instincts and decisions. These have a cause and effect.

Tips to Promote Analysis

  • A nice way to solidify this process is to ask the student to explain back to you how they made the project. This helps them to visualize and verbalize the process. This is another way to help them make concrete connections with what they have just done. “Tell me how you did this.” “What is the first thing you did?” “What did you do next?” “Then what did you do?”
  • This is also a good way for them to practice talking about something that they did. Art is concrete because it teaches cause and effect. An action (painting or drawing) causes a specific thing to happen. The results are a concrete reinforcement of what happens with each action.

A simple art project including the planning process, a bit of experimentation and analysis can help children enhance their sequencing skills which can be applied in multiple other settings.