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Re: [teacherartexchange] Hope restored? With Pride!


From: Jeannie Browning (paintslingr_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Feb 02 2006 - 15:41:05 PST

Stacie, I'm proud of you! You touched children today!!!
What more could you ask for???? You're TEACHING!!
What did you learn today?
Why did this get a positive response from some of the students?
Because it was not about some dead artist; it was about THEM.
Take that as your cue, and run with it!
Keep it simple; your goal is not to do a perfectly formulated lesson that
some authority says has all the components like "exemplars!" and "proper
questioning!" and "visuals" and all that other garbage that we have to put
on paper. Sometimes, it's just about making a kid smile, or feel good about
{BTW, I heard some statistic that middle schoolers think about sex seven out
of every ten minutes, so the Playboy Mansion is a natural impulse...! Laugh
it off and take a bubble bath. Your life is too important to be controlled
by pre-teenagers.}

Kudos! I'm Proud of You!

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group"
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 6:10 PM
Subject: [teacherartexchange] Hope restored?

> Today, the student who wrote about the playboy mansion rewrote his
> poem. He wrote it about the importance of education and then told me
> he was lying. I asked him blank in the face, "You don't want an
> education for yourself?" He looked embarrassed and then said that he
> did. But that wasn't the good part of the day. Today, the class was
> still noisy, several students were still totally unengaged and wanting
> to play around, but there were several who were engaged. At first many
> had trouble figuring out how to translate their words into pictures.
> Of course, this is partly my fault because I truly had to pull this
> lesson out of the air at the last minute. If I was going to do it
> right, I'd love to find videos and images of artists who used their
> work to send a message. I hope to refine this lesson for next
> term...because I really do like the idea of them coming up with a
> message in a poem or rap and creating an image to go with it.
> So today, I had perhaps almost half of the class who were actually
> trying to come up with something cool. One girl gave me her poem to
> read, and I swear it was all I could do to hold back my tears. It gave
> me chills, it was that good and that mature for her young age. I have
> since found out that writing is her love, so this project gave her a
> chance to shine. She even typed it up on the computer last night. I
> reread it again after class and ran out looking for anyone to share it
> with. After the Assistant principal read it, she had tears in her eyes
> as well. I cannot wait to see her finished piece and watch her
> perform. I had several other students who asked me for help, and we
> discussed their work and came up with ideas together. I would give a
> few examples to show them how they could think of symbols, and then I
> would ask them to think of images for words like freedom or peace.
> Pretty soon, they began to think of things and expanded. I actually
> saw some faces light up today. They seemed eager, and it felt like a
> successful day FOR THE FIRST TIME.
> I walked around and there were several kids who had really good
> sketches. Some are working in colored pencil, some in pastels and many
> have chosen to try watercolor. I was very nervous about this project,
> but I'm now thinking that those who want to actually be heard and
> create something might do something wonderful. There are still those
> who seem out of reach, but I can live with that for now.
> Any suggestions on how to make this into a better project and where to
> go from here? I was going to lead into Romare Bearden next week and
> perhaps Jacob Lawrence. I've looked at a couple of lessons. Does
> anyone have a particular one they have found very successful? I don't
> want to lose these kids right when some are starting to respond.
> Stacie D.
> ---
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