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How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 10 of 29

Create a Project-Based Lesson Plan


How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 10 of 29

Create a Project-Based Lesson Plan


Lesson Info

Create a Project-Based Lesson Plan

For this one I have used an example from a friend and colleague of mine and for the online up into an international audience I want to highlight and for you guys but I'm going to highlight that my friend our name is susanna berry and she is a uk based artist and illustrator and teacher okay and this is all of her information you can find her on instagram as stickups graham and if you follow me on instagram you she's a she's a common presence on my instagram feed as well and she is just a really amazing artist and illustrator not just because he's my friend but she's also an amazing art teacher and this is these are some examples of her work and I've used an example for her for a project based class is a very simple but not simple but not simplistic example of a project based class okay and but I love this quote from susanna where she says the joy of teaching is that it's inspiring at best the classroom is a symbiosis a studio of like minds spurring each other on there is really magic a...

nd our teaching and a rare political and a rare privilege and being able to support in washer students grow I just loved that quote and her whale obviously is so beautiful so we're going toe look at one of susannah's lesson plans and it's for a um she calls it a concertina but it's an accordion sketchbook. So this is an example. We actually have a project going that we started called postal sketch, which I had the hashtag was on there before, which I can talk more about a little bit later, but it involves an accordion sketch, but but this lesson plan is about creating creating a sketchbook from scratch, so actually going to be making this is a pretty common class, but it's, super fun and students love it. So we're going to focus on this one today, so we're going to make this experimental accordion sketchbook. We're going to give ourselves three hours because we may not need a full three hours, but it's, um, we're going, we're going to do a couple of different demos in this for this project, so we're going to give we're going to make it a three hour class, and we'll take fifteen again, depending on the space and, you know, susannah teachers and a local a local kind of artists cooperative studio that she has in her town where she lived, and I will I'm not sure the maximum, but I'm sure there is a maximum number of students that she can take, um, we used today's date and then this is a project and we're going to call this all levels so feel free to give your class a level of all levels, right, which is kind of touching on this this question that came up from lily about wondering if you can, you know, reach everybody. I think this is a project that could reach everybody because there's really no prior knowledge that's needed for this class. Okay, all right, so you guys can tell us how we did on our lesson objective for this class. By the end of the class, students will construct a basic concertina. According a sketchbook, students will have experimented with different techniques, adding papa pages, adding pockets and adding more pages to make the journal longer. They will be obsessed with according and sketchbooks. Ok, how did we do with our lesson objectives and the feedback besides the lack of hyphen pop up e I know I especially love bit obsessed with according sketchbooks because I definitely have seen that happen too. Students after this class where they like go home and make you know and like add on pages until it like you know you open it up in it like spans the length of the room okay, so this is a really cool project two dio I highly recommend doing it if it's of course, in your in your wheelhouse so we've got our lesson objective, and now we're gonna look at actually before I show that to you guys, what do you guys think the breakdown of demos is going to be for this class? The people who have the r s v p cannot can look at it, but you guys don't have in front of you, ok? So we're gonna do a demo for papa pages, ali, by an introduction to the material you can use. Thank you. We're going to do an introduction to materials, definitely media introduction to the media that's used in it anything else, how to make it longer to make it longer and there's one more in there that we had pockets. You guys are pretty good writing, you're less than objective can help you figure out how to break down your class, ok, just to reiterate that point, ok, so we've got I've broken it down with the basic who I don't remember who said introduction, so we're going to begin with a basic construction demo, right? How to start it all started off making, you know, joining pages to start the accordion effect, right? You guys can imagine what I'm talking about, right, and then of practice time to start the actual the main sort of accordion, and then I'm going to combine the next demo and as you can see that this is the last demo because it seemed to me like you could do a demo to show both where my both adding the pop up pages and adding pockets okay? And then of course we were figuring out how to make it longer which I realize is in in there but I think that that's going to be incorporated in the first demo when you've shown them how to construct the initial, um thing and then they just keep doing that and if they want to make it longer okay does that make sense? So why why do you like what are the advantages and disadvantages of putting those two demos together? This one here? What do you guys think? What's the advantages or just because people are gonna want to jump ahead you know, maybe they don't want a pocket anybody just want to do papa pages are all pocket or they just want pocket totally you know, this is something that I've run into in my own experience to where I'll be like no, I need to break break down the demos and then actually after the pop up, for example, after the pop up age demo people who work in there like, well, I'm done can I learn the next thing and then you kind of have to give like seventeen individual demos when you could have just done it once and then sent everybody on their way and then they can kind of pick and choose okay so you can think about that for your own like eventually for your own lesson plans like what exactly is going to be more effective for your demos okay. And then this class is really really rich with opportunities for just student work time and sort of like going crazy like a lot of different materials being used like maybe there's tons of colored paper all kinds of adhesives you know you got it you know he's the stapler for pockets use glue used tape used washington pews duct tape okay, so lots of cool opportunities to personalize this according to both the teachers style and the students style okay on then where when we talk about materials you could see how this class is going to be a heavy material class and you should think about that if you for example if you're in a space that doesn't have art supplies okay that might pose the situation where you're walking into classes like to really suitcases full of supplies right? Because maybe you want everybody to experience all of this stuff okay, so these air very specific tio each venue in each class okay? So does anybody have any questions so far about lesson plans? It was a question on line I think somebody asked I'm the objective your lesson objectives you included in the description of your class on your web site? Or is it just for your own? I would say they're generally just for your own purpose, but like I said, you're going to look at the lesson objective when you write your proposals or your class proposals and those are definitely you're definitely gonna put those on your on your you could put those on your website, okay, so maybe the lesson objective in and of itself, the exact wording you're not going to use to show you can but it's definitely going to you're starting off point for your class proposal and pitch, so you definitely are going toe use it. That's a great question, okay, great holly I was just curious in your wrap up and she was saying that she does the group photo. Do you ever feel like would that be the ideal time to do your like asked for comments? Backer right asked them to write something so that you know, for the next listen, what you have to do and we're going to talk about that in one of our later must spend a lot of time talking about wrapping up class, but yes, that's a great time to ask for a feat getting student feedback that's kind of what you mean, yeah definitely if there's a good way to, like it's better verbal or is it better? But, yeah, I'm going to give you some suggestions and ideas for ways to get student feedback and it's definitely, you know, I asked a lot a lot a lot, a lot of different teachers, whether they got feedback and it was very mixed, so a lot of people don't some people do all the time, some people depending on where they're teaching their required tio to give like that, their students have to give them an evaluation. Um, so it's going to depend also, any other questions common? Awesome. So let me see so we are going to have time right now. I'm going to actually ask somebody here we're going to actually see start breaking down a lesson into, um, into the actual class. So does anybody feel like they want to be the first brave volunteer gonna make eye contact yet anybody want a volatile just ok, so we haven't done a lesson objective for you, but let's, let's kind of think about what a potential class for you is going to be. Um, well, the one that I feel like I'm going to try to more immediately dio if I make these creepy paper flowers, I feel like it's, very specific for halloween. Paper yes and I just wrote one little note about an objective with money that somebody they walk away with a dick or you know, halloween decorations so students will create a creepy what did you think? Paper what? But like a dick or was it people are following. All right. Um paper flower for halloween decorate for halloween the high school halloween two l's never get it right for hollow for a halloween decoration is there anything like so what's the technique like what's the one of hm well, there's two different ones that I have but one of them is basically a basic paper flower technique like you learn how like basic flower. So is it folding, cutting, pacing, cut oats using crepe paper? Sorry, no that's fine. I'm just gonna understand what we're talking about. Yeah, okay, so basically maybe it's it's ah, good wayto learn will tow work with crepe paper for a basic flower, huh? Experience the um um I don't have the uses of crepe paper. It's really is it just created like a unique type of paper. Teo it's a unique, pliable I'm trying to think of the word that property is the unique properties of crepe paper I like that thank you. The unique properties of crepe paper teo create a flower, right? Yeah, to form flower ok great does that one of them is like you can make it creepy or you can also just make a pretty flower with the same yeah right so you've got like a secondary you got your main project walk away is a creepy flour for halloween and then secondarily they're going toe experience these unique properties of the crepe paper flower to use for whatever they want yeah in whatever style yeah and then I then the second one is a little bit slightly more vance I guess but only in that way so you're silly within this this class you're teaching to different flowers okay, so create is not it's not all creepy power yeah, it is two varieties to variations there we go off creepy paper flowers for halloween isn't this capitalized? Yeah yeah for halloween decorations. Okay. Soon's will experience unique properties of crepe paper to to form flower is one great paper and one's not crazy over all the other area excellent ok and then our enjoyment factor yeah I mean it's fun it's silly they will spend they'll spend a silly two hours or something. Yeah, two hours with like minded folks. Yeah, I don't know I'm just riffing here you can take it or leave it um okay, so yeah ok, so we've got our objective and we've got our more less time we said about two hours what's our level or prior knowledge I don't I think it's all level actually because I think that even if you know how to make paper flowers one of the things is something I designed so you might not know exactly you could probably figure it out but yeah probably funded just typed all the materials there and do it I agree all levels ok and again we're going to come back to materials so which is also something really important to think about what we're focusing right now on the breaking down of the class list just in case you're wondering I'm not going to skip the girl's um all levels no riel prior knowledge needed you got maybe then you specific for a number of students right right I mean you're not really really ten what may be the max maybe ten max you could see it was a spanish okay um all right so how many demos are you feeling like this class is going to need probably just two two dot so what are your two demos? Um I would timo out the first flower like all the parts of so what about including in your first demo your intro to materials? Yeah intro yes. So internal materials and just how you work with you're right paper like it's talking about its union are pretty properties of great paper and then the other like non crepe paper components great and then and then in the end then I'd also and then how to put them together? Yeah, so well we call it flower one yeah, how to assemble flower one? Yeah. It's like flower one no one actually kind of I guess hopes how tio assemble but the food buy flour when I mean like the first. Yeah, yeah, the first flower flower one ok, and then that with with their intro, which will be maybe, like, ten or fifteen minute indra intro plus your first demo that's going to give you that's going to be probably about, um, temple maybe like, twenty to twenty five minutes. Ok, so then you want to have some work time? Yeah. Okay, what do you thinking for work time? Um, I think I'd like to dio like so perhaps fifteen minutes of work time because they'll be able to make a many as they want at the end after the second demo anyways, in case they prefer one over the other. Yes, sometimes you wantto put your second demo closer to your first one just in the case that people you know are are needing something else. Okay, so what's our second demo, so the second, so the second flower is a, um, uh it's like the little shop of horrors flower so it's got a tongue and so so you it'll be building on the things that we already learned so probably be not as long and just this is where this is what we're calling that creepy flower yeah what were they will creepy because what has one so the first one has an eyeball in it and then this's with you it is far with eyeball okay there you go well it's nice to know for your own purposes start to name started name your steps specifically as possible just because it will help you with your expo yeah it's a man eating our second one so I believe it is yeah I was talking about on and then so it'll be um it'll just be adding on and showing like the inference template I guess I didn't talk about that but they would have each flower has templates that you would use to cut out so you only a couple of them that in your demo said I'll be in there and then you have work time yeah so then the rest were in the classes work is work time because then you know somebody might like prefer one over the other yeah ok and then again what do we always make sure we do at the end wrap up okay at least a five minute wrap I do like this one the photo idea because it would be cool to see them all together bono's and then we'll get to what else you could do in that second later I like it when people can like to force people to go look at each other's work to you just because you know people are more shy or whatever I don't feel like going and invading somebody space it's sort of like invites people to invade each other space toe like looking at what they've done because people always do it weird things that you weren't thinking I love that men just before you take some questions I know you guys have some questions just to like a rough estimation of whether you think you're you're filling the time based on this first run through right just to make sure you don't want to make you don't want to give like so little work time that your students are gonna feel like they haven't had enough time to experiment so if you do feel like you're taught you've given to your demos too much time figure out a way that maybe like combine them or you know something like that so there were two hours two and a half hours yeah because if it's a two hour you're kind of going to be pushing it on time so just consider but I think it looks good it looks like a great class I do have like made these before so if anybody who's catching is curious what they look like you could look up creepy flowers on my block shots local asta dot com that's right? That is you're awesome. Check it out. I want tio clothe. Ok? Does anybody have any questions or feedback on this or anything? Really? Kathy technique based one because you don't actually finished. So you finished with the decoration or just learned the flowers, you can go home and say, oh, well, I guess what I think of it is that you, depending on how many you make you or creating, like a bouquet that is just automatically a decoration you're walking away with a like it could be like, yeah, you could use it or you could string on and make like, a garland and then you definitely can make more at home if you decide you want yeah, fill your whole yeah, I think this is a good I think this is a project because it's specific physical product even though maybe, you know, you think the idea is that it would need more, you know, if you wanted, like, a huge centerpiece or something, you go home and make more right? Yeah, creepy with creepy oh, I love a good plan word um, all right, anything else and about all about lesson plans in general, we have so much in sandra glover clark asked she's teaching it coach saying she'd like to teach a cochet class but she can't get over the how she teaches chain and single cochet so does she just sit there while the students chain and single cochet or what does she do while they um gosh well there's different at environments that you could create in the class you could have your students sit in a circle you could be a part of that circle and you could actually be crashing along with them um you know, in like a little group setting um depending on how I don't know I mean, depending on this face is set up, I would I would have the students work and I would just go around and chat with them and see if they have any questions people are are are all generally I guess ideally, no, but generally going toe have questions and things they're going to come up as they're working especially I found in the mid admitting classes and sewing classes that I've personally taught people there miss like mess ups happen almost all the time so I spent a lot of time is a a a teacher going around and helping people kind of fix sort of like mistaking type things that have happened, so I hope that answers her question yeah great awesome anything at all skies yes, I think about this since I have to demos and before I start the second demo, what it makes sense to just ask general like, does anybody have questions and getting all there for everybody? Oh, yeah, and that we're going to get to that section in our in a later segment about about asking for questions, making sure your stones understand before moving on, etcetera, that's really good? Um, I I would love to know how everybody is feeling about this idea of writing a lesson plan after seeing two samples and kind of talking through shasta's, I'm wondering like kate, how are you feeling? Pretty excited about way also turning good? I'm so glad do you have a specific class in mind? A little hoodie romper because boeing boeing project good glad I'm glad you're that the light bulbs are turning honest as and I said before, how are you feeling? Pretty good? Like I said, I was getting ideas, form or types of projects, but seeing the nitty gritty of the lesson plans is is helping the ground you know how I'm going to approach them good? Yeah, it's important t just you know it's, it can be like feel like a lot, but once you break it down into this steps even just starting with a lesson objective like, you know you saw how we were able to break down this in break down this class into the demos and it just kind of it kind of makes it feel a lot lighter or at least that's what I'm hoping holly and do you keep this nearby seas so it's waged for you to stay in check that you're facing it how you oh yes, yes I mean I have it here I mean, I'm lucky right now that I have it in front of me on this screen so that's helpful but like, I would always have something printed out just to make sure I'm like ok, because you kind of get this sort of like it was like a deer in headlights sometimes we're like you kind of forget what you're supposed to do next s so you want to have it there's a reference to be like, ok demo to okay, I'm on track because I find a lot of times with crafting when she asked about the curse a what? Oh, I dio there's never lack for thanks to do you're kind of always that's exactly thing yeah it's gonna rain that again, so you're back to where you want it to be. We're going to talk about pacing in a later segment because it's a it's a really it's a really big one, especially for crafting environment where people kind of, you know, there's endless opportunities for going around helping you find that you also have a plan b if something doesn't turn out the way you think yes well I do it's a lot of what we call that like I don't know if at living or just using what's in your in your toolbox which is like your brain and like your ability teo teo you know, come up with an alternative especially when we're talking about challenging students who who look like they might need more challenge etcetera, etcetera we'll talk about maybe having some extra stuff prepared ahead of time I mean that's like if you are really on top of things you're gonna have extra stuff prepared and then so if something goes wrong you can always go to that um it's not always possible but it's it's like in an ideal situation you would have that okay, yeah I got a couple of events I was teaching at their required that we actually printed out the instructions of what we were teaching and that's it's takes a little time it's kind of cumbersome but it's really great if you're going to continue to teach it it's great if you're making additional kits to sell um so what did I just want to ask you know what you thought of that if if you're just doing an occasional class oh I think it's great and we're going to get teo both supply lists and kits a little bit later because I agree I think having printed instructions is really good and it's also a really good branding and marketing opportunity and it kind of helps with self pacing I guess definitely and it helps with everything it helps with if you are eventually going to write a book using you know about your technique you've already got the instructor threat now so it's actually really good it might take a lot of time to do it once but then once you've got it down it's you haven't all right, so lily or how are you harvey? There was one question from somebody on the chat room and they're wondering, you know, a lot of people watching our first time teachers and so they were wondering do you recommend letting students know it's your first class or do you fake it tonto quest? Well, ok, I definitely I believe in transparency ana and I think that people are going to be very forgiving with the exception being potentially teenagers and that way you might not want to reveal that weakness on I think especially adults they're going to cut you a lot of slack it's especially they know it's your first time and you could say like, hey guys, this is my first class like, can you believe this is my first class? I'm teaching I'd love it if afterward you let me know how he did you know, and guaranteed, they're not going to walk up to you to be like that was terrible, you know, they're probably going to tell you something really encouraging on dso, I recommend transparency whenever, whenever possible, it's, honest, it's, more you know, you make yourself vulnerable and that's, good people. Students like to see vulnerabilities within reason of their teachers. Like I said, within reason. Teenagers. Also important when you're giving your introduction, which we'll talk about, like you want to make sure, but that your classes, they think this is your way of doing it. But you're not like the expert, you know, like you haven't, you haven't, like, mastered this art, and nobody can do it better than you. You know, it's like you, you, you're passing on this tradition you're doing in your way, you want to be humble, you want to be honest, and your students will appreciate you for that.

Class Description

Teaching opens you up to a whole new revenue stream and lets you connect with people who are passionate about what you do. Learn how you can use your existing skills at the front of a creative classroom in How to Teach a Craft Class with Ashley Nickels.

Ashley is a life-long quilter and multi-discipline creative educator. In this class, she’ll show you how to prepare to teach a craft class and offer plenty of insights on making it fun for everyone involved. You’ll learn:

  • A variety of teaching styles for the full range of teacher personality types
  • How to plan lessons, set objectives, and manage student expectations 
  • Classroom prep tips that help you feel fully prepared 
  • Techniques for dealing with tricky situations 

Ashley will share insights from her years as an educator and help you feel confident before your first (or next) class. She’ll reveal her favorite classroom management techniques and teach you how to deal with difficult personalities. You’ll learn ways to engage and inspire everyone – from advanced learners to beginning students.

Teaching is not easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding both personally and financially. How to Teach a Craft Class will demystify the magic behind a good craft class and help you make your dreams of educating and inspiring others a reality.


Claude Aimée Villeneuve

This was a very good class, well prepared and packed with such useful information! I've been teaching various arts and craft classes for over 10 years now and did it sort of instinctively. Ashley gave me the tools I needed to refine my classes and prepare really good classes outlines and how to find venues to teach and pitch my classes. That was awesome and I plan to watch it again and again because there is so much in it! This was a first class presentation! Thank you Ashley! Claude Aimée Villeneuve, Visual artist and teacher

a Creativelive Student

I'm not even half way thru the online videos and want to recommend this class to anyone who just needs that extra boost to start their own classes! I like the fact that Ashley suggests that we think from a student perspective to help us to better plan. This class covers many things I have heard before BUT in greater detail. When I hear the 'WHY' of doing things, I'm more likely to follow thru. These videos explain many 'WHYs' (There are many informative sites/classes for this topic but not many people give you 'this is WHY' it should be done this way) Ashley gives the "WHY' and the 'HOW to'. If you want to teach and are mostly ready to teach, take this class and all the gaps will be filled in and you will be ready to go forth and teach your craft!

Barbara Schiffman

Great class -- watched live (most of it) and purchased for ongoing review. I've taught many things, including some crafts (decorating gourds, collage, making your own tarot-collages) but I gained new insights, ideas and confidence from Ashley's advice, the students questions and input, and the panel! I recommend this for anyone who wants to teach a class -- craft oriented, personal development, or anything else!