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Re: my art books have been confiscated for decency HELP

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lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Wed Feb 11 2004 - 05:20:39 PST


In my school, our 80 parent docents teach art appreciation to kids in
their history classroom to enhance various things that they study in
social studies. In our 3rd grade sculpture lessons (a year of
sculpture), students see Egyptian, Greek, Renaissance Davids by 4
artists, Rodin and modern sculpture, Henry Moore, Henry Calder, Louise
Nevelson, and we do a scavenger hunt field trip all around Houston at
the end of it to give them a chance to see works that they have studied
as well as test their vocabulary wi.
In third grade, AALC is not tied directly to any curriculum as it is in
the other grades. In 13 years of the program, our parents and students
have looked at and discussed nudes in Greek, Renaissance, and Modern
Sculpture. We tell our parents in training that at first they will
giggle and chortle over it, but we also tell them to give them the
reasons why artists throughout time have used nudes as a subject, mainly
the beauty and universality of the human body (as someone else
mentioned, we all have one!) Our parents discover that the kids rise to
the occasion and they do see and discuss art when they look at the
selection of nude sculpture that we show them. The giggling is totally
over with in less than 5 minutes. Our parents agree with me that it is
a much healthier way to introduce nudes to them than it is for them to
see nudes in trashy tv or movies. I mean, more than a few of my
students saw Janet Jackson's stunt up close and personal. They might
find magazines somewhere someday, or watch a movie that is over their
heads. At least this way, kids are introduced to the beauty of the form
of the human body vs. the porn of the human body, right? It is so sad
that some people just can't see the difference. You are right...they
should have been our students. I lose count of the kids who come back
to school in the fall simply bursting at the seams to tell me they saw
THE DAVID!!!! THey are always in awe.
Kids do get over the nudity, and very quickly. What better place than
an art classroom to have children learn about nudes in a museum! Don't
people think they would wonder and be ignorant about it until they
finally find themselves in a high school or college art survey course?
My condolences to those of you who have problems with this issue. My
headmaster's wife even taught the lesson on Davids once. They tell them
the story of David and Goliath and they look at the various Davids in
terms of what point in the story the sculpture depicts, the variety of
expressions on each face, the feeling they get from each one...how each
David is feeling in each sculpture. It's a great lesson. Many times
they have kids act out the role of David, or they let other kids in
groups pose someone as if they were a lump of clay. One person is the
art critic, one is a photographer, one is an artist, etc. Gotta
go...gonna be late!

Linda Woods

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