W.O.W. stands for Wonderful, Original, Work of Art.
The concept of the W.O.W. art project was created by 6-8th grade teacher Barbara Berry-Palm, of Maine Junior High. At the time, her 8th graders were struggling to produce work and the W.O.W. was created as a guideline for them. She shared her idea with other TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) teachers and it stuck. Although I share the concept of the W.O.W. with all the Synergy students, it is most appropriately applied with middle school. This semester the 6th-8th grade children are expected to produce two W.O.W. pieces.
What is a W.O.W. piece?
*Something the child has thought about
*Something the student spent several art periods working on (more than 2 or 3)
*Something the student has fixed or improved or perfected
*Something that looks ready to hang at school
*Something the student is proud of and shows their time and effort
*Something that took time
*Something that may have caused some frustration to create
*Something the student has shown to others and asked for their feedback
*Something framed with construction paper, a border, or a stand (3-D)
*Something that has substance, that the student can write about in an artist’s statement
*Something that came from the heart
*Something the student found satisfaction and interest in creating
*Something that might be repeated in a new way
*Something where space has been used well
*Something that other artists have noticed and asked the student about
*Something that has happened through experimentation
*Something the student has practiced for a long while (drawing, clay, printing, etc.)
What is NOT a W.O.W. piece?
*A quick experiment
*Playing with art materials (fun and important, but not a W.O.W. yet)
*Splatter painting (with nothing else)
*A collage without a focus
*A collage that isn’t glued down well
*A construction that looks sloppy or falls apart easily
*Something with smudges, rips, and torn parts (looks uncared for)
*Something that has too much empty space
*Something that has not been discussed with other artists (feedback)
*A traced drawing
*A magazine picture or photo copy glued to a page
I gave Synergy’s students a simplified version of what I stated above. I think it sums up the concept well: