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Re: just curious...

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skygeoff_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Thu Nov 16 2000 - 06:17:19 PST


Anna N. wrote:

> I am just curious as to how many lessons (average) you complete throughout
> the year with elementary school kids.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. My belief is that it's better to
go in depth. So we spend about 6 or 7 weeks on each project. Some of the
first grade projects take less time - maybe three weeks. I think it's
important to do things that take time because in most other areas of the
children's lives, they rush through everything. I tell them that it takes
time to do your best and I encourage them to really make their projects
complex and rich with detail. Ever since I saw the projects in Frank
Wachoviak's book "Emphasis Art" (about 25 years ago) I've been teaching this
way.

Lately I've been reading the curriculums for schools in other places and the
projects take one or two 40 - 45 minute periods. The format is 9"x12" and
they use crayons or markers. They described a project where fourth grades
made paper strip weavings on 9" x 12" paper looms. I love to teach weaving
and we take about seven weeks to complete yarn weavings on cardboard using
about 10 different techniques.

Most of the time in these curriculums is spent teaching art history. I don't
like this shift. I do teach them art history. I spend about half an hour
giving them background information before each project begins and it is
ongoing for the duration of the project.

Sky (I teach grades one through five)