It's GREAT to make art in an appreciation class -- especially if you are
doing modern/ contemporary and the group may not have an understanding of it
yet. Where are you starting -- how does your semester shape up?
Books that I used to use (many, MANY years ago) included Purposes of Art by
Elsen I think and What is Art by John Canaday. I stayed away from survey
books because that's another course and concentrated mostly on understanding
why art is made, why it's a reflection of its time and what to look for in
modern and contemporary art. If you ask them, for example, to draw lines
that show calm, anxiety, anger, etc. they start to understand expressionism
in art and realize how hard it is to represent something abstract like
feelings. That's a good starting point -- they also realize how hard it is
to MAKE art.
Another thing I used to do in intro. to art is, on the first day, ask them
to draw the following things: a face, a car, a flower, a house, etc. and
then we'd look at the results -- mostly everything will be a symbol or icon
-- all the faces frontal, the car a side view (in my day of a VW bug), the
flower a daisy, the house a child's simple rendering. We'd talk about how at
a certain age, kids become convinced they are either good or not good at art
and how our society doesn't place enough importance on art, etc.
If you give me specific topics -- I will help you develop specific lesson
plan ideas, if you want.
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