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Lesson Plans

Basics in Middle School?

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Mark Alexander (Alexander)mamjam)
Sun, 16 Mar 1997 23:29:17 -0500

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Hi ArtsEdNet folks,

I'm new to this school this year, and it seems my predecessor never
discussed art history, aesthetics, and criticism. How would you approach
cubism with 6th graders when their art experience seems to be limited to
projects and crafty stuff without any attempt at discussing background and
cultural contexts? Many of them are showing me blank stares instead of the
excited eyes I had expected.

This is really a wider issue than cubism. Recently, after I explained the
criteria for a painting project, my 8th graders asked "what is a
composition?" When doing a monotype unit with the 7th grade, I couldn't
find one student who would admit to having heard the word "impressionism."

I feel frustrated because these kids don't have the skills. At first I
thought they just needed review of the elements and principles, but I'm
beginning to believe they have never heard of these things before. I've got
to start these big kids out from the beginning. Any suggestions for
interesting middle school appropriate lessons that teach the basics?

I'm sorry this is such an open ended question, but maybe the results will
be more interesting because of it. If you're not interested in helping out
a new teacher with such basic problems, please just delete this query.

Thanks in advance,

Mark Alexander
1-8 art on the cart
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, CT 06031

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  • Reply: Griswold, Charlotte: "Re: Basics in Middle School?"