Art is fun, but teaching children art can be challenging unless you make it fun. That’s exactly what Cassie Stephens, an elementary art teacher from Nashville in Tennessee, USA, does. She offers her art lessons online which is such fun that children get hooked on them in no time. It isn’t surprising that her lessons have become a rage on the internet.
This K-4 art teacher, teaching at Johnson Elementary School in Franklin, Tennessee, not only offers weekly thematic content to her students, but also easy and fun projects to do at home. For teaching color theory, she has handcrafted crayon skirt and sweater; for Mondrian style painting, she uses homemade ‘windows’ coat; and for fashion, she has prepared lessons that delve into math and history. Her favorite, however, is call-and-response, a technique she has developed to introduce art vocabulary. Needless to say, there’s never a dull moment in her classes.
It all started when Cassie was forced to hold her street painting lesson inside the schoolroom due to bad weather. She hit upon the idea of making chalk art on the ceiling tiles of the school. She first familiarized her students with a history of mandonnari or Italian street painters. Afterward, she played the video showing the steps on how to go about it.
The ceiling art became such a hit that today it has become a sort of legacy. In the first year, her students drew butterflies that they were studying in their science class. She also obliged the cafeteria manager, who wanted the ceiling painted with healthy food. Her students painted fruits. Needless to say, this kind of exercise helped in brightening up the school.
Cassie was always interested in art and studied painting at Indiana University. Her parents realized her potential and insisted that she also get an art education degree. After graduation, she got her first break as an art teacher. It was here she realized that this was what gives her joy. Her creativity and love for fashion and theatrics came in handy to make her unique fun lessons and motivated her to continue doing so every day.
Cassie has been teaching art to kindergarten children for the past two decades. So popular are the fun projects that she enjoys a fan following of over 190,000 fans on Instagram alone and many more on other social media platforms.