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architecture lesson

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From: Jayna Huffines (jayna_99_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Nov 04 2001 - 17:51:33 PST


I have to share with you how I have overcome my dread
of teaching architecture- a subject I found so boring
in Art History! We begin by discussing how some
structures can be considered art, and the students get
really interested in why the Parthenon was purposely
built mathematically incorrect, and how the Great Wall
of China follows the curves of mountains like a
ribbon, why the Taj Mahal was built, and so on. It has
made for an extremely involved and interesting class
discussion!

I have varied how I include art making in the lesson,
but the one I am tackling with some 7th graders and
special eds is a skyline to display on my ample
windowsill in my classroom. Each student is
responsible for "building" a facade, whether it is a
store front, a movie theater, a church, whatever. They
are allowed to use cardboard boxes, wire, papier
mache, whatever they need. My intentions were for them
to paint the front, including windows and painting
what was going on inside. But no, they want to remove
the back of the box and actually paint the inside like
the inside of the building. Unbelievable!

This group is full of tough cookies and I usually have
to stand on my head to get them motivated, but they
are so excited about this project! One particularly
difficult kid was simply thrilled when I showed him
how to make stained glass windows for his church by
coloring acetate with markers.

I can't wait to see the finished skyline!

Jayna

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