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Lesson Plans


Re: Middle School Art Programs

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sidnie Miller (sidmill.edu)
Thu, 23 Jan 1997 21:12:49 -0800 (PST)


Dear Ryan--It sounds like you have a difficult challenge ahead of you.
If your middle school students aren't excited by their regular teacher
and already have a serious attitude it will be difficult for you to
make any inroads so try not to feel like it's a personal defeat and
try all kinds of things assuming that since this is practice time and
it's going to be rough anyway--you might as well have a variety of
experiences. Instead of intellectualizing and working into your
projects, try going the other way. I find that even my tough jerks
like anything involving x-acto knives or carving wood etc., they all
like clay, and most like calligraphy (no doubt due to gang writing but
don't let that stop you because they will end up with a real interest
and admiration for old Bibles!) They also love silk screens --I do a
paper stencil traced from a grid drawing of something--sports illustrated
photo, Van Gogh painting, Marilyn Manson photo--they cut out with X-acto
knives(see how this works) then print. All can use a couple of screens.
You could even use tempera if money is tight (make a screen out of old
frames stretched with organdy). All the time they are working you can
slip in information on the history of the subject--stop and show them a
slide or two etc. Let the learning part sneak up on them. Usually
jr. high aged kids rush into new projects--if yours don't say casually
there are only a few good rulers, so whoever has his idea first gets
first pick etc. This sounds really simplistic but I always start the
year telling the kids that this class is going to be fun and they're
lucky to be in my class and I can't believe I get paid the same as
everyone else because I love what I do and wouldn't it be awful to
be a math teacher and have to do math all day!!(boy in light of the
general vs. specialist discussion here I've got nerve saying that) I
say if you don't like what we're doing now just hang on because our
next area will be different and I know that they're going to love
something we do. It really works--I even hear them repeating the
words throughout the year.IT sounds like your students are not too
excited about their grades--if they don't give a rip about them, then
rubrics aren't going to change that. If you can identify the leaders
early on--try to win them over. It can really help with the rest of
the fence sitters. This is really an unorganized bunch of thoughts.
I hope it can be helpful. Write back if I can help. Sid

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