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Lesson Plans

Re: computers in the art room

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra Hildreth (shildret)
Sun, 14 Jul 1996 21:21:48 -0400

Carol wrote:

>Is there anyone out there that has info, lesson plans or ideas for
>implementing computers in the the high school classroom?

I've now managed to get 4 Mac's in my high school art room and I'll share
the following suggestions with you. First of all, kids don't learn much
when you just allow them to go and experiment with the media. A little yes
- but soon it seems all they do is fill the page with the available
patterns and write their names or boyfriends or girlfriends names using the
various tools. I have found it best to give them something specific to try
to do, and also to relate it to the current project going on with
traditional media. For example, as my 7th graders create tempera paint
color wheels, I usually take a few students who finish early, or who I know
can very competently paint a color wheel, and I show them the simplest
tools in my Graphics program (which happens to be SuperPaint). I show them
how to draw one blank shape, repeat it 12 times and arrange in a circular
pattern, and then how to fill in each shape with the color they think best
matches the correct paint colors of a color wheel. For kids who have no
computer literacy, I have even created a template of a blank color wheel
and all they have to do is select colors to fill each shape. (And selecting
the best 12 colors out of the hundreds available is good practice in using
discrimating taste and judgement). I also show them how to type in the
names of the colors. Up until this year we didn't have a color printer and
so we never printed out their color wheels (probably won't even with a
color printer, to conserve ink), but they learned to appreciate what they
created on the color monitor. Those who get the hang of the graphics
program get to try drawing some pictures on their own - but I still find
they need a topic, or they just play. Create a design using the letters of
their own name, or the school name, etc. Even copying is valid, I think -
trying to copy a favorite sports team logo, or cartoon character, for
example. When I have classes doing projects that involve the use of shading
to create 3-dimensional forms, I also try bringing a few students to the
computers and show them how to put gradiated fills into shapes they draw.
By keeping the rest of the class busy with traditional art media, I train a
few students at a time on the computer, then I ask them to train another
student, and so on. I don't force it on anyone and the priviledge gets
revoked when abused. For my older high school level classes I frequently
build in a computer option when I present assignments to them, so they have
a choice of media. One example was an architecture project where they
designed their own dream house (floor plan and/or front and side views).
Some chose to use Virtus WalkThrough to create their own 3-d model of a
house. (Virtus is challenging to learn however). When I can, I have tried
to create my own printed, simplified tutorials for various graphics
programs, so the older students can sit down and learn them on their own.
Good luck.

Sandra Hildreth <shildret>
Art 7-12, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
Art Methods, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617