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Lesson Plans

Re: Working alongside students...?

From: Mark Alexander (malexander06)
Date: Sun Apr 09 2000 - 21:19:00 PDT

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    I love it when I get to do art work in class! In a good week it'll happen a
    couple of times, but usually I seem to be needed in three places at once. It
    has to be the right class or it just doesn't seem to work out.

    Often times I just introduce the lesson, then I draw with them for a few
    minutes. Calms them down a bit, as if it legitimatizes the whole thing,
    making it worth their effort. Sometimes they come and watch if they get
    stuck, more often they interrupt my drawing to ask for help, so class time
    isn't usually a place where I can get involved in serious right brain work.

    Sometimes I just get carried away with a demonstration. When I get the vine
    charcoal out to do value drawing portraits, I demonstrate by drawing a
    student's portrait as the class watches. I try to talk out loud as I make
    decisions, but it's hard to talk and draw, and soon I'm just drawing. Once I
    was doing a quick demonstration and before I knew it the bell had rung and I
    discovered I'd just spent 40 minutes on a portrait of a student. It really
    looked like him, too, and the kids just quietly sat there absorbed in the
    process for the whole time. Of course even with my small classes this was an
    unusual occurrence.

    Sometimes, when it is related to the planned lesson, I bring paintings or
    drawings into class which I've been working on at home, just to ask their
    advice. They enjoy feeling a part of the process of a real artist, and some
    of their suggestions are pretty insightful.

    Other times, if most of the class seems to be on task except for a small
    group of chatterers, I'll sit with them and work on the same assignment for
    myself. Without any obvious prodding, they'll often just watch for a minute
    then become inspired to figure out what question (or answer) they needed to
    address in order to get themselves going. Sometimes work, sometimes not.

    I like working alongside my students, when I can.

    K-12 Region One
    northwestern Connecticut


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