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I have never tried this, but I'm planning to in the near future and it
seems like it could be an interesting way to approach the subject
matter. How about having your students pick an artist and have them
actually become that artist. They would have to study the time period
when they lived, explain their artwork (both the formal elements and
maybe some intent), and things to that effect. There would be oral
presentations given by the students. Also the students could break into
groups based on the diffrent artistic movements. You could have three
students representing Pollack, De Kooning, and Frankenthaler who are all
artists from the abstract expressionist time period.
If you do try this please let me know how it goes.