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Lesson Plans

Re: Figure Drawing and Bad Behavior

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
The Whites (bolide)
Thu, 12 Mar 1998 10:43:58 -0600

As a Gifted Resource Coordinator (who taught Art for eleven years) I
include the arts in much of what I do. I do figure drawing with fifth
graders. We learn the bones and muscles of the body by name. Gesture
drawing is a prelude to this. In order to have an alive figure they need to
know how the body is supported and articulated. When I first tried this
approach I was afraid that the figures might be wooden, however experience
has shown that the students take their learning seriously and their drawings
are quite good. At the elementary level one book that might help you is
"Dancing Granny" by Ashley Bryan
Perhaps I have been "just lucky," but I have not had a problem with fifth
graders even when I pointed out the shoulder and hip differences for the
male and female forms. Good Luck Linda White, Norman, OK (By the way,
I am GT now because Norman, a university town, does Not have art specialists
at the Elementary level.) L
-----Original Message-----
From: David Zimmerman <fastedy>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 1998 2:23 PM
Subject: Figure Drawing and Bad Behavior

> I too am currently working as an artist-in-residence but I also have art
>education credentials. I had general education classes in classroom
>managment but these classes really didn't prepare me for what actually goes
>on in the art classroom. After teaching in a variety of situations for
>almost 20 years (most of which has been in my own classroom), I am having a
>few problems in this my newest teaching situation. Teaching in your own
>regular classroom is easy for classroom management as you set the rules,
>layout and classroom protocol. When you walk into someone else's room all
>that goes out the window and I have found that I have little real control.
>Each week when I visit a room, the kids are seated in new places and often
>the entire room has been rearranged. Trying to get classroom teachers to
>support and help with your particular form of management and organization
>seems fruitless.
>Try to be familiar with school rules and policies about behavior so you are
>comfortable enforcing exisiting rules and know your perameters. The only
>advice I can give is to learn to let go of some of the control or you'll go
>nuts. Try to have fun and work with the kids enthusiasm. When I have kids
>that are totally inappropriate or too out of control, I just have them
>clean up and go sit outside the room at a small desk. I've asked the
>teachers to provide reading or worksheets in another subject for this time.
>I will not punish with art reading or research (as we've discussed on this
>list because it turns the kids off to art). I feel if they can't behave in
>art, they won't have it at all.
>With the figure drawing, I try to set it up before hand by explaining how
>nude figure drawing is a big part of classical art training and why the
>figure is important in learning to draw. I descibe the figure drawing
>classes I've had and try to portray a tone of serious observation and
>study. There will always be a bit of discomfort for many students when
>they begin this activity, especially adolescents and young teens. Try to
>encourage the students by expressing your confidence in their maturity and
>ability to handle this "adult" activity. Stress that different body types
>are admired and necessary for models--no one is the same. I try not to get
>angry at giggles and such at first but if the behavior continues or gets
>demeaning to the model, I send the kid out of the room. If you set it up
>this way, the kids who act obnoxious are usually looked down on by their
>peers as being less mature than they are.
>Good luck, its a jungle out there!
>Deb Rosenbaum
>Always take time to stop and smell the roses... and sooner or later,
>you'll inhale a bee.