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Lesson Plans


censorship in the classroom

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra Hildreth (shildret)
Tue, 5 Mar 1996 23:17:17 -0500


Nudes in art - difficult topic to handle, and often times best left unseen
(or covered discreetly). However, the class that I have the most positive
experiences with in terms of exposing them (no pun intended) to art that
includes nudity, is my Humanities class. I think this is because I use a
very strong DBAE approach to the lessons. This team-taught class combines
Art and History, and when ever I am presenting an art lecture or showing
examples, it has already been tied in with the historical, political,
economic, religious, etc., environment in which it was created. So when I
show these high school students Michelangelo's "David", they have already
seen Greek & Roman sculptures when we studied that time period, and they
already learned about the Humanist developments of the Renaissance. When
they had studied the Greek era, their hands-on art project had been to
illustrate a heroic or epic story in the Greek vase style (archaic,
classical, or Hellenistic). I provided them with several vase template
shapes to trace - then they did their illustration, black on red, or red on
black. They could choose to illustrate a traditional subject, even copy one
from an existing vase, or do one entirely their own. One girl did a
beautiful drawing of a Greek hero throwing a spear, nude, with very
discreetly done, inconsipicuous genitals - (very natural looking) much like
they were originally done on Greek vases. This could have been a situation
where students went overboard - a chance to draw gross & exaggerated nudes,
or sexist illustrations, but they didn't. I think it was because my
colleague and I were able to help them understand the Greek ideals that
were the underlying elements in the creation of their various art forms. I
don't overdo the inclusion of nudes as I teach this course, but I feel
comfortable when I do, because I feel I help my students understand the
place of the arts within time.

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