In a message dated 2/26/2004 7:52:59 PM Pacific Standard Time,
students say, "when can we make what WE want?". To my horror, in spite of
all I have tried to get across in two years' worth of art studies, I have
students drawing corner suns and copying care bears.
I have seen this as well. Sometimes I think that we have told them how to
compose and arrange with the concepts of good composition and design and they
just want to play. It's like maybe I should just let them play and then go on
from there. The one's who truly have the gift will more than likely do a good
piece because it will seem right, others just want to play and not think.
I once had an art 4 class who was very uptight about their work. I let them
use finger paints (from a kindergarten teacher I know) for an entire period.
When they had completed this activity they said it was fun using the finger
paints, but they had nothing of value to show for it. It got this "play" thing
out of their system and they seemed to be more receptive to instruction, where
they knew they would be getting a better product. They still liked being
able to play. I believe that art students like guide lines and instruction that
will give them a good finished product, and when left alone, they will play
but eventually come back to a more thought out work that will give them some
Art teacher, Leigh High School, San Jose, CA