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Lesson Plans

Re: large classes and motivaton

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 2 May 1997 05:03:40 -0400 (EDT)

Jen, I think you are dealing with the same problem most of us deal
with--motivating, promoting and advocating the arts to a society who for the
most part don't have a great appreciation, understanding or background in
what the arts are about. Recently--as we were musing the fact that students
don't seem to know how to behave in a theater--someone pointed out the fact
that for the past several generations most schools are centered around sports
arenas rather than an auditorium and expected behavior in each of these
places is very different. Most spectator experiences are either football,
soccer, baseball, baseball, etc. or loud rock concerts. I think we just have
to keep plugging the arts and making the younger generations aware of the
fact that they are surrounded by the visual arts and make aesthetic decisions
everyday-- consciously or subconsciously.

A couple of fun activities in class is to have the students paint (I use
black tempera and 18"by24" paper) to music (with their eyes
closed)--something soothing (painting composition #1), then kick it up to
something energetic (painting composition#1). I show them some of
Kandinsky's work and talk about color, rhythm, abstract, etc. Students
choose their favorite "composition" and paint in the shapes created with a
color scheme of their choice. Taking this a step further, you can then have
them cut up the paintings and rearrange a collage-like composition. If you
want to keep pushing, they can sculpt these into 3-D pieces. Good Luck!

Another diversion is to have the students draw a simple still life (a vase of
fresh flowers) using a long branch and India ink.
Results in some FANTASTIC line qualities. Keep them black and white or fill
in with watercolor.

Thanks for sharing your ideas. Would love to hear more from you and others.
This time of year I feel as if I am pulling tricks out of a bag to keep them
motivated!!! Whatever works!

Judie J