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Lesson Plans


Re: MEANING

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
carla schiller (charwitt.us)
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:29:08 -0800 (PST)


Ellen - Thank you for sharing your lessons and responses; they wre very
interesting. Last week my art history class was looking at a painting by
Kandinsky in our Janson art history book, and I asked students for
comments on how the work made them feel. Then I had them turn the book
upside down and asked for "feelings" responses to that. For some of the
students, their response changed. Next, we looked at it turned sideways.
One student's reaction was somewhat minimal and offhand, so I tried
something. The picture in the book was about 3" by 2". I told him, "King
(that's his name), look at the picture. Now...imagine it suddently the
size of the classroom wall--WHAT DO YOU FEEL!?" He literally jumped and
blurted out "Intimidated!".

Carla Schiller, Esq.
Teacher, Highly Gifted Magnet
North Hollywood High School, CA
e-mail: charwitt.us
webpage index: http://lausd.k12.ca.us/~charwitt/index.html
*************************************************************************************
"We all make the best choices from among those we see, but we don't always
see all the choices available." --Author unknown
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On Tue, 16 Feb 1999, Kevin Hall wrote:

> Guess artsednet is back on line! I just got 65 messages. . .
>
> This year I have used many color transparencies to project images
> relating to what we are studying in English and social studies. Every
> time I have incorporated this medium as part of instruction, the
> interest of my students seems to peak. The social studies textbook
> makes reference to historical places, objects, people, and elements of
> culture. For example, when I show students a large visual image of the
> geography of India, the Egyptian pyramids or how a battle or literary
> reference in displayed in art -- it truly comes to life for my
> students. A great deal of discussion is usually generated when students
> view the "big" picture.
>
> To assess the effectiveness of this teaching strategy and to determine
> students' thoughts relating to the concept of "size and meaning",
> students discussed and/or wrote their thoughts relating to these
> topics. Below is a sampling of student responses to questions posed
> (many of the questions come from or are derived from the Classroom Forum
> at the end of the Philosophers Forum web site):
>
> 1. Think about the images you have seen relating to the ancient
> civilizations we have been studying. When these images are displayed in
> a large form, using the overhead projector and the color transparencies,
> does it change your view? Why or why not? Provide examples to support
> your answer.
> • students overwhelmingly responded that their view did change–seeing
> larger details allowed them to view images more clearly and sometimes
> it made it easier to understand a concept being studied
> • useful to see the larger image, many of the images in the textbook
> are so small it is hard to tell what is being depicted–interesting to
> compare and contrast an object using different sizes
> • student generated examples included: (1) geographic locations
> (maps) of ancient civilizations including Mesopotamia, Egypt, India,
> China (2) art portraying the epic Ramayana (3) hieroglyphics displayed
> in an Egyptian pyramid (4) the languages shown on the Rosetta Stone (5)
> daily life and examples of culture from ancient civilizations
>
> In addition to seeing greater details, student retention also seems to
> have been increased!
>
> 2. Imagine being able to reduce the size of a large artwork so that it
> is small enough to put into your pocket. Is the message of the artwork
> the same when it is in its regular size and when it is "pocket-size"?
> • messages may be altered–some pieces are made to be large,
> impressive and grand, while others are inteded to be small with minute
> details (One student illustrated this point with the example of "art"
> possessed by his family--a single grain of rice inscribed with a message
> written in Chinese. Everyone thought this was simply amazing--students
> agreed the effect would not be the same if portrayed in a different
> manner.)
> • it is important to see details to determine meaning
> • skill and patience of an artist is shown on very small objects
> • some students felt small items were not as important
>
> 3. Do people who live in America think "big is good"? Do you agree
> that we seem to want to have "the biggest roller coaster, the tallest
> building, and the mega-est mega-mall"? The size of some ancient
> structures say something about power--for example, the pyramids of
> Egypt, the Great Wall of China and others. Are there modern structures
> which give similar messages?
> • most students felt and agree "big is good"
> • student examples: (1) Mike Tyson is big and powerful (2) multiplex
> theaters are becoming more multi, 6-8 used to be common--now a 30-plex
> is not uncommon, demonstrating the power of media (3) Statue of Liberty
> displays the power of freedom (4) Golden Gate Bridge (5) Sears Tower (6)
> World Trade Center symbolizes the US as an economic force in the world
> (7) Empire State Building (8) St. Louis Arch (9) Eiffel Tower
>
> 4. Do Americans ever like things small? If so, what?
> • microchips and related technology (Gameboy, lap top computers, cell
> phones) because it is more convenient
> • small is thought to be cute, for example, dollhouse furniture,
> miniskirts and little jewelry
> • petite, small women are looked upon favorably and acceptable
> • sportscars, they are small and FAST
>
> 5. Artworks seems to say things, send messages, and have meaning. Who
> decides what a work of art expresses or means? For whom do artworks have
> meaning?
> • students were split in their opinion--art sends the message and the
> observer decides the meaning/the artists decides the meaning when the
> artwork is created
> • art is for everyone and it all has meaning, but that does not mean
> everyone has to agree on what the particular meaning is
>
> Fortunately for me, my students enjoy thinking and are eager to
> question and respond. The Philosophers Forum has been an interesting
> vehicle to implement into class discussion.
>
> Thanks for reading this long post!
>
> Ellen Hall
>