Do this now

"Do this now." is my magical art lesson phrase.
  I love to do art, but it can be a challenge when kids don't listen to the instructions, or they rush ahead thinking they know what to do.  So, during art, students don't do anything until I say, " Do this now." Art in my class goes something like this...

Me: Hey guys, for writing today, we are going to start with Art!
Kids: Collective screaming and someone falls out of their chair because they are so excited!.
Me: OK friends, what is is magic phrase?
Kids: "Do this now."
Me: What happens when I give instructions?
Kids: We listen or we sit out for art. (Nobody actually sits out, but since they don't want to miss art, they follow directions.)
Me: When do you move?
Kids: When you say the magic words, "Do this now."

Then, I pretend I can't hear them and say, "What?" 5 million times until they are screaming, "Do this now",  and laughing, and beoming too exhausted to not follow directions. 

Me: Take out your scissors (pregnant pause) They lean in with anticipation..... the suspense grows.....
Me: Do this now....
Kids: Nobody speaks, they take out their scissors, and then look to me for the next direction and the magic words that follow.

Art is perfectly fun and easy every time.

So what kind of art do we do? These are our upcoming art projects from Mammals of the Woods



All of the art in my unit has an academic component to it.
This is our place value porcupine.
Mammals TpT art 6
This porcupine has a little book of place value hidden underneath!
 It's sneaky learning, I tell you. It fools my kids every time.
 " I love art!", they scream.
But really they are doing math!
 I fooled them again!
Though they are only 6-7 years old....
But still, my evil plan to fill their brains
 while they think they are doing art,
is working perfectly.
[ I am raising one sinister eye brown, and rubbing my hands greedily] 
My mad scientist moment is over.
Art that entails a skunk, glue, and cotton balls does not work if the kids are out of control.
"Do this now" saves the day every time.


By the way, if you love the art, you can get it for a great price. All of this art comes with my unit. The unit also has 11 differentiated fluency passages about mammals, 50 pages of Common Core fun, and 5 assessments!
But none of this art would be fun, if the kids were not under the magical spell of the magical phrase
"Do this now."
It has made such a difference for me. I hope it works for you. I am dying to know, how do you make art run more smoothly in your class?
Thank you Hadar for setting up this linky! I can't wait to learn some new teacher tricks. Click on Hadar's name to go back to her blog and read more wonderful ideas!



  1. LOVE this tip! I am so going to start using your magical phrase. I always have kiddos taking out supplies while I am still giving directions, and then of course they miss important things! Thanks so much for the tip! I am your newest follower!

  2. That's the secret to your beautiful art!
    Amy Howbert

    Little Miss Organized

  3. Just found your cute blog through the linky and I'm a new follower! I often have the same problem and I love your idea of using a magical phrase. I'm going to try this!

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  4. Hi Katie! I just found your blog through the linky! I can't wait to check it out more. :) Come check my blog out when you've got the time :D


  5. Sorry! I messed up! I am your newest follower and I love the DO IT NOW! Thanks so much for sharing, I will try this again.
    Second Grade is Out of This World

  6. I love doing something similar! I usually give them a silly word or phrase, like "hippopotamus" or "preposterous rhinocerous" :) because I know I won't accidentally say it!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  7. Your art work is TOO CUTE!! I do something similar. Like I'll say ready go. But sometimes I like to tease them and say ready gopher. They love it!
    The Hive

  8. I just found your blog and I pretty much LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  9. Thank you friends and welcome! I cannot wait to visit your blogs tonight!

  10. Love your tip! I found you through the linky party and can't wait to read more from your blog! Check out my blog at!

  11. Hi Katie...I am your newest follower :) I love your art activities :) I teach second grade in NY :) Your blog is a-dorable!!!! Love it! So cute and creative :) I am looking forward to reading your future posts :)



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