Whenever someone tries this in my class, I treat it seriously and push the
student to make it even more campy. They usually back off.
My all-eighth grade class this semester has five girls and ten boys. " You are
too goofy. " We have to get ourselves under control if we're going to get any art
done this semester," I told them yesterday. "There's way too much testosterone
"What's that?" the girls asked, but immediately little smiles appeared on their
faces when they realized --no, no, that's fine, they rather like it that way.
Right now we're doing social norming posters in Keith Haring style for the
school. FYI the there are a number of messages for these, like "96% of Terman
Middle School Students think it's never okay for friends to get drunk", and "77%
of Terman Middle School Students did something nice for another student last
week" etcetc. A little corny? Maybe, but they're all into it. I printed out the
various texts using salsa font and xeroxed them onto drawing paper stock so
all the kids have to do is design the pictorial part of the poster. The Asst.
Principal asked us to do this and has stopped by a couple of times acting as the
'client' who's commissioning the posters. I used the assignment for my "no
more stick figures' lesson and taught them how to design Haring-style
pictograms, cut them as stencils and trade around so the different designs act
as "semiotic signs" throughout the series. I've had the video "Drawing the Line"
on a continual loop while this is going on and they're bouncing around the room
rapping 'Crack is Whack' while keeping busy and cranking out some very
creative posters that have the administration ecstatic.
So today after everyone left and I was stacking the dried stencil paintings, I
found one in which one of my more active students had very laboriously cut a
stencil for his own text, imitating salsa font, neatly stenciled it in purple onto
his own poster:
"If Barney does it, don't".
I'm still shaking my head at the amount of work that went into it.
Last week in my other class, which is 7th/8th grade mixed and much more
docile, I took them through the Betty Edwards upside down exercise--the horse
and Picasso's drawing of Igor Stravinsky. Someone--drawing upside down,
mind you--transposed the heads, so I now have two excellent drawings of a
centaur with the head of a man and a horse-headed man seated in a chair.
Ya gotta laugh. The other way madness lies.
---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 09:13:59 -0500
>Subject: [teacherartexchange] Hopeless?
>To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group"
>Errr...What do you do when you ask your students to write a speech/poem
>or rap about their dreams for the future, and they write about wanting
>to live at the Playboy mansion? I'm really trying not to give up on
>these kids, but it's becoming difficult!
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