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[teacherartexchange] defining abstract


Date: Wed May 24 2006 - 18:47:34 PDT

     I do a lesson with my 4th graders based on the art of Georgia O'Keeffe. One of the beginning activities I do is give all the students a postcard of her work as they walk in the door. On the tables I have signs -still life, portraits, landscapes, cityscapes and abstract. I tell them they have to stand by the table that would fit for the artwork they are holding. This opens up some great discussions-most of them will be holding a big flower picture-but is it a still life? What about the bones ? Where should they go? And then they start asking, what is abstract anyway? So I ask them what should you do if you don't know the meaning of a word? And someone always says look it up! So I have someone look in the glossary of those art text books that sit on the shelf by the door and are seldom used. The definition is something like, artwork that is simplified or has parts left out (I know I'm leaving parts of the definition out but I spend 7 hours straight with the gifted and talented students today making a
 plaster kid and marbling with shaving cream,etc and then meeting with the superintendent for an hour about transition to the new school next year so.....) Anyway- O' Keeffe's art is great to lead the students into abstract. She did one painting called Abstract of Lake George (or something like that) and after the definition is read, the kids pick up on it with that painting right away--"oh, year, that round blue blob is the lake and those wavy green lines are supposed to be the trees around it,etc.." So Marvin, is that leading them into it instead of just feeding it to them? I have been reading a lot of the info on Marvin's site about creativity. It really gets you thinking about the way you teach!
           no school tomorrow!!!!! Let the summer begin!
p.s Amy, it is my week to be a mess- I went to my meeting with the Super covered in plaster!

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