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Art Projects for Teenagers for Teaching Communication

by Kim Blakesley

Times change but teenagers do not. Many teens seem to be stuck in a rut that is centuries old -- how to talk in such a manner to communicate effectively and in a socially acceptable way to parents, teachers, adults and even other teens. Help your teen learn communication skills with the use of hands-on art projects.

Non-dominant Hand Self-Portrait

Remove the anxiety of drawing a realistic self-portrait by asking your teen to draw a self-portrait using their non-dominant hand. Instruct your teen to add their personal characteristics to the drawing such as short or long hair, glasses, facial hair, hair adornment and freckles. After the drawing is complete, ask your teen to explain the drawing and what they see as their best and worst attribute. If possible, do this project with a group of teens. Ask the teens to exchange their portraits and talk to their partner about what they see in each other's drawings.

Charade Drawing

Charade drawing is an activity that requires an even number of teens. One teen gestures while the other draws. Provide a word or phrase to each group such as cat, bubbles, riding a bike or apple tree. Give the group of teens 15 minutes to complete the drawing. Gather the group together when the time is up. Place the drawings in a group. Discuss what each drawing is supposed to be and the difficulties in drawing what cannot be heard. Repeat the activity by switching the roles of the teens.

Cartoon Read

Select a short passage from a book that sets a scene and gives the listener an idea of the character. Read the passage to your group of teens. Ask them to draw a three panel cartoon about the passage. After the drawing is complete, share the drawings among the group. Ask one teen at a time to show the drawing to the group and explain what they chose to draw in each panel and why.

Positive - Negative Drawing

Help to impress the use of positive words and deter the use of negative words with a positive - negative drawing. Select a group of negative words such as ugly, stupid, retard, bean pole and dork and a group of positive words such as charming, gentlemen, beautiful, handsome and funny. Ask each teen to select a positive and a negative word. The project is to draw the words in such a way to reflect their meaning within the shape, color and texture of the word. After the drawings are complete, share the drawings with the group. Ask the group to discuss why they chose to depict each word in the manner they chose.

About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images