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NAEA 2023 Conference / Workshop/ Lesson Plan

Conferences are amazing things. They are a great way to reconnect with people you have not seen in almost a year. They are also a great way to connect with new people and gain new insight while attending different workshops. Oh my goodness! The NAEA23 conference in San Antonio did just that for me. I had the opportunity this year to do several presentations, one was for the CAN organization, (Connected Arts Network) I will talk about in another blog. Another was to have a live panel discussion on the topic of Teacher Appreciation and Teacher Mental Health. However, my one on the topic/discussion about using Gelli Plates, by GelliArts, is one that is still causing my head to swim. (all in good ways.)

I was asked to present on this product because of the high levels of interest in using Gelli Plates, but the high levels of people really wanted to build their skill base using this product.

When leaving San Antonio, I began to think about some of my takeaways from this workshop, which many teachers do after teaching a class or lesson. When I originally submitted the proposal for this workshop, I remembered choosing it to be a hands-on one. It was not a ticketed event, or really not sure if I had selected the format of the room. (which would include a few tables.)

I left my earlier workshop about 30 minutes before the Gelli Plates one was to start, to give myself time to set up and do any rearranging if needed. While standing out of the room, the previous workshop was going a little long, not anything out of the norm. I began to talk with some people that would be attendees of my workshop. But the more I talked to them they all had great questions and wanted to know more. I could just tell this workshop was needed and was going to be a great group of people.

While I started to get out my stuff for my hands-on workshop, I noticed that there was hardly any space to work and I still needed to get connected for my slides. I looked up to see that the room was about half full. I must have begun to look nervous because a person that I was talking with a few moments earlier was asking me if they could help me in getting set up. Of course, the more hands the better. I looked up again to see the room was now 100 percent full and still more people were coming in.

Once I felt comfortable enough to get started, I started with my normal way to start my classroom introductions. I began to roll into it. Thank you all who attended this workshop, I was not expecting to have that many people. “We will do the best we can!” (Teacher motto). Started to talk about Gelli Plates and lots of information that people may not have known about them. This led to my essential questions, we began to have a conversation around the questions. I then turned it into a Q & A session, where they got to ask me more info about the Gelli plates.

Began to roll into my Artist Trading Card lesson. My lesson starts out with the concept of being Thankful. This can be done the week before Thanksgiving break or some other time of year, or even as a sub plan while you are out attending conferences.

I start out by having students make a list of people they are thankful for in their lives. While they are thinking of those people, they begin to add to the list some details about those people. (Favorite colors, flowers, designs, activities…etc) Instead of making just a random card without value or meaning for a particular person. They are really creating artwork for a specific person.

Along with making art for others, it is a great way for students to not only put others ahead of themselves but to learn a valuable lesson in giving away artwork.

Wishing you a Creative journey,

Matthew Grundler

If you were not able to attend my session at NAEA or would like to learn more about Gelli Plates. Click on this link: Gelli Plates

But my lesson can be found by clicking this Gelli Plate Artist Trading Cards.

Some other alternatives can be done in the digital sense Click on this link to see the lesson plan using Adobe Express. (All the way toward the bottom.)

(Here is the picture of my workshop that day)


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