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sketchbooks- what to use

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jun 17 2002 - 21:13:24 PDT


Marian says
> My
> colleague made them this past year with her Foundation class. She said they
> took greater ownership in the sketchbook which is probably true but it took
> a long time to make them. I prefer to spend the class time teaching the
> concepts I need to cover in a semester.

I'm kind of agreeing. A sketchbook is a personal journal, it's a visual
diary---- IT"S PERSONAL
It's a place to go to to record, to save, to mark, to observe, to practice,
to experiment a place to waste space (without judgement). It should be a
pleasure, not a chore.
We need to present the sketchbook as the place for idea holding. Not an
assignment, not a grade -- a place for thinking. Give prompts for thinking,
give questions for thinking ask for the thinking process and hope for the
best.
But make it a chore? In my mind that defeats the purpose of the sketchbook.

To introduce kids to what a sketchbook is about you introduce them to what
'collecting is about" The sketchbook is personal. The format, the size,
whether the spirals are on the side or the top. whether it's glued, is it
bought or homemade it should have nothing to do with any kind of
conformity. Who cares? I look at sketchbooks that are in .59 composition
books. It's about caring enough to think. And please make your
assignments so open ended that the sketchbook results will be a pleasure for
the kids -- not an assignment. Ask them to look for things that they would
never think to look for. Ask them to search and explore. Ask them to look at
the life around them. And don't expect any 'wonderfulness' If you gotta
grade, grade on the exploration cause that's what a sketchbook is about
not another homework/still life assignment.

If my sketchbook is going to be assessed by some standard then I ain't
keeping it any more.
Please , I look at the discussion on sketchbooks and think homework
assignment can be substituted. It's not the same.
And I'm not sure all kids can be forced into the true meaning of the
sketchbook.

Patty

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