Self-Discipline Sculptures- Art Therapy in Detention

I’m loving this new project I’m working on with my students!

This is Self-Discipline month, and they’re working on a project that I’ve affectionately named the “ADD Nightmare” (I can make this joke since I have practically the same attention span as my 2-year-old daughter!) The project takes a substantial amount of patience and self-discipline, but at the same time, the directions themselves are simple. I also noticed that once you get into a groove, the process is so predictable that it’s very comforting. Even kids who didn’t make it to the end product were engaged and challenged throughout the entire project. The challenge lies in sticking with it through each phase and trudging through tedious pattern drawing and rolling paper.


All you need are Sharpie markers, glue, and scissors or a paper cutter. First, you draw lines to break your paper into sections in any way you’d like. I had my students create at least 5 sections. Then, you fill each section with a different pattern. We talked a bit about repetition and pattern before they started. At this stage, it looks like this….


Next, you copy, cut, roll, and glue your patterned paper until you come up with this…


This project really helped me understand that it’s more effective for my students to engage in art projects that literally put them in a position to practice the character trait right then and there.


You can find detailed directions for the project at this link:


And the eNasco website has lots of interesting art project ideas and lesson plans under the Arts and Crafts tab. Many are culturally based and tie easily into Character Education.



Til next month,



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