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Re: Creative ways to present art history


From: Jeremy Whelan (jeremy_whelan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Mar 17 2003 - 11:21:23 PST


My area is drama so that would be my solution and I have an idea for you. First a thank you to the teachers who feed back to me about how they used drama in their classroom. I joined this list a long time ago and then I realized it was a visual art group not a general arts group but i stayed with it anyhow and mostly lurk, but it seems that it might be time to give something that you all might find interesting and very useful.

I tell all my drama students to have at least one other art form to play with/in. I tell them that if I took a dance class it would make me a better actor, because the arts are all related and that they feed each other.

I have another drama technique that many of you could find very useful. I know that many of you teach history and other courses as well. I've long seen how it could be useful in a history class and have passed the idea along to teachers I've met along the way.   That will wait for now. I want to get this idea out to Michelle first.

That wqd a very interesting period in art and almost everybody was in Paris at the time. I've been teaching for twenty years so I know that classes are made up of kids with mixed ambitions, some are driven and others coast. If you can get some of your more ambitious students to each pick an artist that was living in Paris at that time, or not, just an artist from the time, who maybe went to Paris. Get them each to pick one artist and to do some basic research on that artist, read a biography  or something like that. They all had attitudes about each other, some were friends, others hated each other. Then fake a French cafe set in the classroom and have them do an improv as these characters inhabit the cafe. If the other students get excited by the idea, let them find another artist of the time or even before that time, just an artist with an attitude and let them join in. It could be a once a week thing. Everyone can get into the act as bartenders, waiters, dancing girls, etc.

I have some more ideas on the subject for later, especially if you find a script that puts these people together, there is a super super technique for scripted stuff. 



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