An art journal is a great way for students to experiment, play with ideas or mediums, and get their thoughts and emotions out. They can combine the written word with the visual image to tell a story or relay a concept. They can explore an object in various facets of its existence in a series of mediums. They can be nothing at all but a place to throw around paint and scribble. The ultimate goal is to get out those creative energies and get your brain going without committing to the preciousness of an actual piece.
For both Art I and Advanced Art classes this is a great place to do exercises and let students practice techniques in a non-threatening manner. Especially at the beginning of the year, this would be a great way to get students into the creative mode and let them explore some ideas and get comfortable with mediums before diving in to a larger piece. It's also a great place to explore ideas and draw inspiration when students feel a bit stuck.
Doodle Do- Only doodles allowed. period. Draw with pen, nothing is a mistake.
Inside Out- Explore and object or animal from all angles, inside and out.
Define It- Paste in a dictionary page and select a word. Design a page exemplifying this word.
Only an Inch- Create a bunch of miniature masterpieces. Try different mediums on a small scale.
See A Penny Pick It Up..- Pick up anything you find on the ground today, glue it to your sketchbook.
Without a Trace- Just kidding, trace everything! Overlap tracings and then color in the spaces.
My Spin on It- Redesign some labels or products and show us how you would have done it.