Keeping Visual Artifact Journals: Finding Story and Art in Everyday Objects

Inger McGee


Merging the visual arts with writing and visual artifact journals can provide students with both journaling opportunities as well as art experiences. These art experiences are especially valuable at a time when schools are seeing arts specialists eliminated from school staffing and their content from the overall curriculum. Three fifth grade classes in one elementary school in Arizona used visual artifact journals to write about artifacts that held personal meaning as well as to demonstrate an understanding of the visual arts. While visual artifact journals were originally developed by Sanders-Bustle (2008) for use with preservice teachers, fifth graders were able to utilize the journals, practicing writing skills while documenting their lives through artifacts and recognizing the artistic qualities within their artifacts.

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