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Lesson Plans

Re: using reproductions in the classroom

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 12 Jul 1996 10:36:05 -0400

I am a middle school art teacher and I also teach art appreciation at the
college level. I use art reproductions in both settings frequently. Here is a
list -- and it probably won't include everything --
Middle school: Large prints for introducing a new concept, teaching about a
specific artist, talking about a specific theme in art, enriching the
classroom environment, introducing vocabulary (such as emphasis, focal point,
etc.), doing activities in art criticism, connecting student work to
established artist's' work (h-m-m-m, that reminds me of___________. Do you
know what his/her work looks like?), sharing with classroom teachers (they
give me a topic or time period they're working on and I pull prints for
them), introducing the idea of a museum (we live in a rural area), etc., etc.
I do have quite a good collection of prints and order more every year.
Medium sized reproductions -- I keep files on artists, cultures and topics
such as architecture and ceramics in my classroom. These are used by me in
some of the same ways as are listed above and are also used by students for
doing research, reports, etc. These are primarily prints that I have
collected from magazines, visits to museums, etc. I have them laminated and
use them also in displays. They are organized alphabetically and are always
accessible to the students (as is a fairly large collection of books.)
Small reproductions -- (postcard sized and smaller) Some of the same uses as
above but also in games and group activities in art criticism, aesthetics and
art history. I also have them use some of the smallest ones ( from the
Shorewood catalogue) in their sketchbooks or in creating mini museums (out of
clay or cardboard) or in small books they make about a specific artist.

College class:
I have students choose a postcard from a museum we will be visiting later in
the semester on the first day of class. They write about why they chose it
and later use it to do an art criticism project and then research it
historically. Eventually, they get to see the actual work and write about how
seeing the "real" work is different than the reproduction. I use large prints
for several game type activities and for a final exam in which they are asked
to attribute and unknown work to an artist to whom they've been exposed
during the semester.

I cannot imagine teaching without these types of resources! I also can't see
that laser discs or other technology that shows images will replace the print
totally, because of the variety of ways in which you can use the hard
reproductions ( hang on wall, use in a display, glue in sketchbook, etc.

I think I"ve said enough on this topic. Hope to see some other replies with
additional ideas.

Marcia Thompson