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Lesson Plans

.......thoughts on copying?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Bunki Kramer (
Sun, 25 Jan 1998 17:28:21 -0700

Sid Miller wrote....They
>were to gather as many images as they could find from magazines
>a broad area such as animals, people, landscapes, happiness, grief etc.
>Then the kids could manipulate, study, collage, copy, combine etc. for
>the rest of the year so that they couldnever say I can't think of
>anything. For what it's worth I think that copying a drawing successfully
>in the middle school level is very valuable. The kids need to learn to
>control images before they manipulate them. It is important to explain
>that this is not their original work, however. Sid

........................We discussed this issue about 1 and 1/2 yrs. ago
and I'm afraid I'm probably repeating myself here, but I feel strongly
about this issue..and I'm in total agreement with Sid. I also teach at the
middle school level...6,7, and 8th graders. For grades 7 and 8th, we begin
the semester by doing exactly what you have mentioned. We collect our
"stash" of magazine pictures for referencing...though I'm pretty concise
about what I want them to look for, such as...several pictures of:

1. a face, one young, one old
2. a flower
3. an animal
4. something in black & wht.
5. an ear
6. a nose
7. an eye
8. landscape/and seascape
9. something not a flying baked potato
10. a mouth
11. an insect
12. something they REALLY like

I have the PTA, faculty, library, kids bringing in old magazines
continuously for an ongoing collection. I keep a continuous stash for my
own purposes also. Although my classroom is large, I also have a large
clientle (from 35-40 students) so a still-life setup is not very conducive.
These pictures provide insight to my students for study and manipulation. I
also strongly encourage "cropping" of photographs to make them the
student's own visual statement. At this age of middle school, they become
quickly discouraged/frustrated when drawings don't look right. They need
and WANT skills. They NEED a point of reference from which to begin
studying relationships of lines and shapes. They can't do this without
having something to look at and to study. Turning pictures upside down
helps too and you can't do that with a bowl of fruit. (And I don't get 36
"bowls of fruit" as products either!) They walk out of my room feeling
successful about completing a skilled drawing and can never say "I can't
draw" again! After struggling with still-life drawings for years, I've
found this to provide the ultimate success for my students. Not only are
they learning how to "see" relationships, they are also learning value
scales and how to put values next to other values without lines inbetween
to make it look real.

I also don't have any qualms about it not being "original" work at this
stage. If they are drawing from a still-life, does that make it anyMORE
original? I don't think so. They still, as artists, have had to make a
decision what to include in their drawings and have manipulated the subject
matter to their own mind's eye. They've also cropped, zeroed-in, off-set
their pictures with viewfinders to make it uniquely their own. I consider
this a strong exercise in "learning" and "skill-building" which they need
and they appreciate.


Bunki Kramer
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd.
Danville, California 94526

  • Maybe reply: RWilk85411: "Re: .......thoughts on copying?"
  • Maybe reply: Bob Greaves: "Re: .......thoughts on copying?"
  • Maybe reply: RWilk85411: "Re: .......thoughts on copying?"