FINALLY! I found something that my stubborn 4th graders are actually interested in. Interested enough to follow all of the steps, and spend a reasonable amount of time working towards a quality art project- Coats of Arms. I began by talking about the reasons for them, and how they'd changed over the years. We listed personality traits that we felt we had. And, I gave each student a folder with symbols/meanings that would have been typical in a traditional coat of arms. They designed it on paper, then transferred it to a Styrofoam tray, which we would use as our printing plate (I kept their paper designs for a later project). As they worked on their weaving this week, I called students back to print. (typically, I am fearless, and I set up printing stations, which allow all students to print together, but, this group has so many discipline issues, I did not feel it was safe, or in the best interest of the students) I had 6 (wow) ink colors available, since color also has meaning on a coat of arms. And, they could use 2-3 (although, some tried 4), as long as they remembered to switch brayers, and not mix up my inks. Each student had the chance to make 2 prints. I like to give the chance to make more than one print for a couple of reasons. 1st, printmaking is a fickle art, and does not always yield the results we desire. 2nd, I like for students to compare/analyze their prints next session, often choosing the best one for me to grade. Self- Critique is not an easy thing to teach at the elementary level, but, having them use some choice/preference seems a good way to approach this concept. My students had such a good time with this- My plan is to have them use markers to color their paper designs, and create a "key" which shows what their symbols and colors mean. I am hoping to ride the success of this project by including some dragon/castle drawings.