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Lesson Plans

Token Response Game

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mon, 31 Aug 1998 16:37:23 EDT

Several people wrote asking what the "Token game" is. It is an interactive
game that helps students learn about art criticism and aesthetics, created by
Dr. Mary Erickson and Dr. Eldon Katter. It contains a set of eight tokens (30
each) that represent different ideas about art. The tokens represent personal
preference, ecoonomic considerations, time expenditure, preference of others,
originality, craftsmanship, judgement, and dislike. There are many ways to
play the game, making it applicable to all age groups. One example of a way to
play the game is to put out several postcards or small prints of artworks on a
table. Have each student examine the works. Pass out one token to each student
and ask them to place their token by the postcard that fits the idea the best
in their opinion (the "heart" token represents the work they personally like
the best, the "dollar bill" token the one they think is worth the most money,
etc.) The game is really a discussion tool, as after the students make their
choices, you lead them in a discussion about their choices and the reasons why
they made them. They discuss ideas about the value of art, originality, and
beauty, to name a few. It is also fun to examine patterns that occur, such as
if many students choose one artwork as the one they like the best, but another
for which they think shows the most craftsmanship. You can ask them why
similarities and differences of opinion ocurr. Token Response can be used over
and over with any combination of images, depending on your lesson. The game
also comes with reproducible handouts in Spanish and English and a teacher's
guide with ideas for how to use it in the classroom and on museum field trips.

To respond about Ruth Altman's class where not every student is participating,
one thing to do is to pass out post-it notes to each student before you start
the game and tell them to write out their reasons for placing the tokens where
they did, and then have them stick the notes on their token. After everyone
has placed their tokens with the written reasons attached, you can ask more
specific questions directed to the answers they have already provided. You can
even ask quiet students which response was their's and to elaborate on what
they had said. Or, you can choose a pair of similar responses and ask the
students who made those choices to work together on creating an answer to your

Eldon Katter and Mary Erickson have created other game/discussion resources:
Artifacts, Philosophy & Art, and Artery.

Please feel free to call for a catalog and for more information about these
games. Thanks for your interest!

Amy Metcalfe
CRIZMAC Art & Cultural Education Materials, Inc.
(800) 913-8555