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I'm having great success with a contest I came up with at my school. I teach
art to grades one through five.
I hung up 10 big prints by famous modern artists (19th and 20th century) in the
hallway outside of the art room. I covered up the information at the bottom and
taped over the artists' signatures. I taped a clue to each picture such as:
"This artist invented pointillism." or "She was famous for her paintings of
mothers and their children." Inside the art room door I have a box on the
counter filled with pencils and small pieces of paper. The children have to
guess the names of 5 of the artists if they are in 5th grade, 4 for 4th graders
and so on down to the first graders who just have to guess one correctly. They
have to write their guesses on the slips of paer and drop them in the raffle box
which is also on the counter near the door. The contest is open to teachers and
parents but they have to guess 6 artists out of 10. On April 15th I'm going to
pick a winner from each grade level and one adult winner. I have art supplies
to give as prizes and a great book on Van Gogh which I got for the parents.
Many of the artists are familiar to my students because we have studied them in
class. But I put up some web sites for them to visit and encouraged them to
look through any art history books that their parents might have.
I am amazed at how excited everyone is about this contest. Some of the teachers
have taken a surprizing (to me) interest in the contest and refuse to put their
slip in the box until they have guessed all ten artists. I've taken pictures of
the children out in the hall filling out their slips. They are not allowed to
do it during class. This has turned out much better than I expected.
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