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Lesson Plans


Re:Honors Art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Rob Morey (raboo)
Thu, 18 Mar 1999 20:56:50 -0800


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Hi Marsha,
I developed the International Baccalaureate Art program at the high =
school where I used to teach. I, like you, had very little to go on =
when I first started. I would suggest that you connect with some of the =
high school teachers in the area to see what they are up to and what =
ideas that they might have. Take a look at their AP Art classes and see =
if there is something that you can complement there. This will also =
serve as a way to bridge the middle school lessons with the high school, =
something which I have found to be lacking in many districts. =20
Personally, I would begin my first semester, (we had a four semester =
program,) with guided projects and quickly progress to the end of the =
second semester with the students working almost entirely on their own. =
By the end of the second semester, students would be telling me what =
projects they were going to be doing and how they were going to be doing =
them. I had 15 students and my biggest problem was keeping up. I'm sure =
that your students won't be able to work at that level, however, a =
couple of my first semester projects might help. =20
Our first project was to create a collage, however, the theme had to be =
a social statement to which they had to write and present a statement of =
their work. As the students were working over a two week period I would =
present small examples of art throughout history. We never covered just =
one period, but I would try to tied an idea to examples which could be =
found throughout history. "Social Statement" is easy, because nearly =
all of art is a social statement. It opens the students eyes to the =
many different styles and techniques in which artists communicate. =
Always be sure to include a very health dose of contemporary work. Our =
next project would be a assemblage of a symbolic self-portrait. Once =
again, students would have to write and present a statement. And, once =
again, I would cover a historical survey of symbolic art works, which =
included many African and Native American as well as some great =
contemporary stuff. Our third project was a shrine of some sort. This =
shrine was to be to anything that they felt was valid. The theme of the =
shrine could be part of a social statement, such as greed and money or =
drug abuse or fashion. It could be to something that they believe or =
truly enjoyed such as sports, their religious faith, or their current =
squeeze. I could be to a musician, a movie star or, as one of my more =
unusual students did, to themselves. We would begin by discussing just =
what was a shrine and the many different ways shrines are created and =
used in our society. Just what do we worship and how do we, as a =
society express what is esteemed as important. Have the students look =
in the dictionary and tear apart all of the words associated with =
shrine, such as deity, worship, niche, devotion, etc. This was a GREAT =
project and the work became extremely personal and powerful. And, as =
you may guess, there is tons of art history to go along with this =
stuff. =20
You might find this stuff a little ahead of your students, but I hope =
that you can find a way to maybe adapt it for your kids.=20
I graded the work based upon what they had to say. Personal thought and =
meaning were paramount to their grade. If they had a problem speaking =
in front of a group, (many of my students were ESL and rather shy when =
it came to speaking in front of groups,) I would read their statement =
and ask questions along the way. Grading was the easy part. I allowed =
up to 20 students to come into the class and I didn't turn anyone away. =
However, when a kid saw how much writing, (I also required a sketch book =
to be kept with 10 pages of writing and 5 pages of drawings each week,) =
only the serious stuck around. By the end of the first quarter, I only =
had 12 students. Many of the students, who were not considered artistic =
at all, did very well, because they were thoughtful and they worked =
hard, which after all, is what makes a good artist. Isn't it?
Hey, good luck and let us know how it goes.
Rob Morey

=20

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Hi Marsha,
I developed the International = Baccalaureate Art=20 program at the high school where I used to teach.  I, like you, had = very=20 little to go on when I first started.  I would suggest that you = connect=20 with some of the high school teachers in the area to see what they are = up to and=20 what ideas that they might have.  Take a look at their AP Art = classes and=20 see if there is something that you can complement there.  This will = also=20 serve as a way to bridge the middle school lessons with the high school, = something which I have found to be lacking in many districts. =20
Personally, I would begin my first = semester, (we=20 had a four semester program,) with guided projects and quickly progress = to the=20 end of the second semester with the students working almost entirely on = their=20 own. By the end of the second semester, students would be telling me = what=20 projects they were going to be doing and how they were going to be doing = them. I=20 had 15 students and my biggest problem was keeping up.  I'm sure = that your=20 students won't be able to work at that level, however, a couple of my = first=20 semester projects might help.  
Our first project was to create a = collage,=20 however, the theme had to be a social statement to which they had to = write and=20 present a statement of their work.  As the students were working = over a two=20 week period I would present small examples of art throughout = history.  We=20 never covered just one period, but I would try to tied an idea to = examples which=20 could be found throughout history.  "Social Statement" is = easy,=20 because nearly all of art is a social statement.  It opens the = students=20 eyes to the many different styles and techniques in which artists=20 communicate.  Always be sure to include a very health dose of = contemporary=20 work.  Our next project would be a assemblage of a symbolic=20 self-portrait.  Once again, students would have to write and = present a=20 statement.  And, once again, I would cover a historical survey of = symbolic=20 art works, which included many African and Native American as well as = some great=20 contemporary stuff.  Our third project was a shrine of some sort. = This=20 shrine was to be to anything that they felt was valid.  The theme = of the=20 shrine could be part of a social statement, such as greed and money or = drug=20 abuse or fashion.  It could be to something that they believe or = truly=20 enjoyed such as sports, their religious faith, or their current = squeeze.  I=20 could be to a musician, a movie star or, as one of my more unusual = students did,=20 to themselves.  We would begin by discussing just what was a shrine = and the=20 many different ways shrines are created and used in our society.  = Just what=20 do we worship and how do we, as a society express what is esteemed as=20 important.  Have the students look in the dictionary and tear apart = all of=20 the words associated with shrine, such as deity, worship, niche, = devotion,=20 etc.  This was a GREAT project and the work became extremely = personal and=20 powerful.  And, as you may guess,  there is tons of art = history to go=20 along with this stuff.  
You might find this stuff a little = ahead of your=20 students, but I hope that you can find a way to maybe adapt it for your=20 kids. 
I graded the work based upon what = they had to=20 say.  Personal thought and meaning were paramount to their = grade.  If=20 they had a problem speaking in front of a group, (many of my students = were ESL=20 and rather shy when it came to speaking in front of groups,)  I = would read=20 their statement and ask questions along the way.  Grading was the = easy=20 part.  I allowed up to 20 students to come into the class and I = didn't turn=20 anyone away.  However, when a kid saw how much writing, (I also = required a=20 sketch book to be kept with 10 pages of writing and 5 pages of drawings = each=20 week,) only the serious stuck around.  By the end of the first = quarter, I=20 only had 12 students. Many of the students, who were not considered = artistic at=20 all, did very well, because they were thoughtful and they worked hard, = which=20 after all, is what makes a good artist. Isn't it?
Hey, good luck = and let us=20 know how it goes.
Rob Morey
 
 
 
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