I have heard from some readers that we focus too much on projects that are appropriate for young children. It struck me that when I worked with middle school and high school children, adding any kind of a project raised their interest and insured enthusiastic participation.
One of the skills that is critical for success in both school and life is the ability to follow directions. I have created shoebox art centers to help you create activities that older students can pursue independently. Why deny alternate activities to middle school and high school students an opportunity to experience some success while working independently? With students in self contained programs, you will have some students with higher skill levels who will be able to assist classmates.
I only have a couple of centers ready for you now, but hope to have a couple dozen ready by the summer, for those of you who are working in Extended School Year programs, and would like some alternatives for students who are working on meeting differentiated and personalized IEP goal based programs. Some may seem really simple, yet for a student who has little experience of success in other parts of school, a flower they made themselves by following directions will seem like a huge accomplishment of which they can feel very proud.