I do an opening exercise like this in my Art II classes.I read a series of
directions. I do not answer any questions, but I will repeat. When all are
finished "doing"the series of directions, I have kids put them up on the
board. We look at all of them. Then I ask "What is alike about all of these?"
"what is different?" "Which one(s) look "good"? Whis ones are "bad?", etc.
Then I summarize by telling the class that this is a perfect example of what
art is... each student heard the same words, saw me giving the same
directions, used the same media yet each "doodle" is unique. Each artist
interpreted the information differently- it went in through ears, into brain,
out fingers and came out uniquely theirs! This is what I want from each of
you! Your own interpretation of whatever I ask you to do. I NEVER want yours
to look like your neighbors, yet it should always have some of the same
elements and characteristics.
The kids then are asked to add lines, color, shapes, etc. to this "doodle" to
make it into AN ARTWORK. The product may be realistic, abstract or
nonobjective. This is their first assignment in my class. We then critique
the "artworks" in a couple of days and bring in criteria such as
craftsmanship, composition, skill, creativity, commitment, etc. This sets the
stage for grading--- establishes what kind of criteria I look for in other
work during the year. All who do this assignment get an A to start the qtr.
It is a great non-threatening activity!
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