The teaching of controversial subjects should be introduced as early as
possible. Ok..before the list gets in an uproar... For example, nudity. I
know of several instances where elementary students (my own included) have
gone to an exhibit and there was a classic (or not so classic) nude on
display. I knew this in advance (having previewed the exhibit and had been
working with my students on the material) I talked to them in advance about
why the nude is an important subject for study in art. Also, my kindergarten
students were looking through a book I had and came across Titian's "The
Birth of Venus" to much tittiling...I explained that the painting was about
a legend (an imaginary story) and the woman was supposed to be the goddess of
love. Of course...from the mouths of babes...they said "But why does she
have to be naked!!!??" I told them she was covered all over by her
hair...<g> and that the artist was trying to show how beautiful she was. I
relayed all this to the kindergarten teacher, and she told me not only had
this come up in class (she had responded similarly) but she used the book to
talk about it again.
I find the more art, students are exposed to and the more they talk and write
about it, the more comfortable they will be decoding difficult works. It is
progressive and must begin early! I hit vocabulary very very hard, even in K!
I used Kelly and Albers to study color with my fifth grade students. Some
got it, some did not, but it is there..buzzing in their brains. This year my
fifth grade students are going to do a painting where the subject is PEACE.
i will be using Guernica, and some other works (I have not decided which
yet) to show how other artists protested violence and made a visual statement
Good luck, hope this gives everyone a little food for thought.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Jul 22 2000 - 14:35:35 PDT