My challenge, teach a cartooning lesson that does not use people or animals.
.I went through my comic book collection I have mostly people,superheroes and personified animals in there.I looked through my old examples of comic strips that I had made--all about my dog.."No,those are not not going to work" I said.
I spent some time on several web pages looking up cartoon tutorials. I found one on drawing a cartoon snowman..No tutorial really needed just three circles but I did like the cartoon eyes. This would work and gave me tons of great ideas.Snowmen could have facial expressions.They could have conversations and if personified they would also have problems,conflicts and issues just like other cartoon characters.
I tried this first with the morning program kids. The students were kindergarten, fourth and fifth grades.
They had some great ideas of what could happen that would be bad for a snowman. I thouhght of limbs falling off mine other thins kids thought of were "They could melt". "A dog could pee on them","Someone could throw hot water on them."
I tried this again later the same day with another group of students. I showed them my examples and walked them through a few morecompostional drawing tips then the morning crew had. This was the class I had prepred it for.The morning group I was using it as a timefiller . I talked to them about snowmen not being perfectly round and that they could be other shapes,I mentioned that they could be female instead of male. I got questions about this.. I clarified with "Keep it appropriate. I do not need to see snow people genitals. The clothing is descriptive enough."
I was working along with another artist teacher this class and she is partial to using washable markers and brushing into them with water for a watercolor effect. I worked very successfully for this project. It allowed you to get the bold markers colors were you wanted bold but to also get nice color washes in areas for snow or sky were you want some transparency.The students had great success with them and created snow people that wore tie dye, had huge hats being attacked by cats, triangular snow people, cubed snow people etc.