After classes let out, some students in Heather Bogus’s art class stay behind. Dressed in plastic smocks, they gather around a large canvas spread out on the table and use brooms to dot the canvas with orange paint. Slowly, a bright fall scene takes shape, complete with tall orange and yellow trees.
Bogus, a teacher at Cortina Elementary, has been doing the Huge Art project for three years, but this is the first year she has brought her creativity to Cortina.
Students have the option of taking a one-question quiz at the beginning of Bogus’s art class. At the end of the quarter, Bogus draws one correct answer from each grade level to choose which students will help create the Huge Art project for that quarter.
“The goal behind these art projects is to increase engagement in my classroom,” said Bogus. “This way, it encourages students to pay closer attention to their learning. With more correct answers in the pot, the better their chances of getting picked for Huge Art will be.”
The students are in charge of painting the project, while Bogus helps with the larger tasks. During the last project, Bogus took home the project to cut the edges of the wood canvas that were not painted and put a clear coat of resin to protect the art.
“After, it is displayed in the library for all to enjoy until the next quarter Huge Art is ready,” said Bogus. “At that point, it is tradition that the oldest participant takes the artwork home.”
This quarter, a sixth-grade student took home the fall art trees.
Bogus believes the Huge Art projects have been a big success and students enjoy working on the project.
“My favorite part of making the projects is watching the students work with each other to create something beautiful and the recognition they get from their peers afterwards,” said Bogus.