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suggestion to make assignment more successful

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From: JPeterson-Shea (jpeterso_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 10:42:35 PST


I am writing to get some feed back. I have read some very insightful
posts and thought to ask all of you. I am trying to help introduce many
different artists to my high school classes. I do include some art
history but usually it is a general overview of a time period or a style
rather than specific artists. What I do is each month I put together a
board that has examples of work by artists whose birthday is during that
month. This month has some interesting artists such as Renoir, Grant
Wood, Max Beckman, and Norman Rockwell I get the birthdays out of the
Davis monthly planner. On one day we all go to the library and research
the artist of the student's choice on internet and in books- I am luck
that the librarian always asks if there is any style or artist that I
would like to add to the collection when ever she finds a little extra
money! I have several sites that I have the students check out such as
artchive, artcyclopedia, and askart. They find the information and
print it out. I ask them to find only a few specific bits of
information about the artist: birth and death dates, what style and the
definition or an explanation of their style, what medium(s) the artist
worked/s in, and why this artist decided to become an artist. The
students also must hand in their sources so that I know that they did
not just cut and paste the information.
I have been happy about how it has gone so far. The groaning is being
heard less and less and the students are actually reading about these
people and finding out about various styles, media, personalities.....

My question to you is how could I improve this exercise so that it is
more relevant? There are no museums with permenant collections around
here to take the kids to see the actual thing.

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