I do several kinds of critiques, from "game-like" ones such as buying a
painting, and I spy types, to informal discussions of their own work. I
have my older students often write about their work, and then present it
and take questions/comments at the end. Last year's 5th grade did this
very well. For some reason I am noticing that this years students often
say things like "it looks like a..." or ask questions that almost have a
snide feeling to them. I know the "it looks like a" is just them drawing
on past experiences/things they can connect with, but often can be hurtful
to the artist. How can I break this habit. I've tried some ways of
guiding the conversation, but perhaps at this age they need even more.
I've thought of passing out maybe the beginning of a question like "what
gave you the idea to..." and then the student fills it in with something
they want to know about. I 'm really just looking for ways to train them
to see, and find some meaning in the works both from the artist
perspective and their own. I like when they come up with their own
thought/comment/questions the best, but it seems they need some help. Any
ideas? I would like to start "training" at the younger ages ages too.
We have 45 minute classes once a week. If I take a whole class for the
"show", they sometimes, not always, get a bit restless. Again, I'd like
that feeling to change too.