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First let's try that website again:
At our website, you will find all sorts of newsletters, teacher resources,
and links. To get to the interview activity, click on newsletters then click
Now ... the online interview. As a part of my job as project coordinator for
the grant-funded "Transforming Education through the Arts Challenge," I work
with three different North Texas school districts. The online interview was
an activity that I developed for one of my schools ... a school that has
plenty of computers and other technology.
1. First I contacted the artist, Jim McNeill (someone I already knew through
having recently worked with him as an artist whose computer-generated
tessellation was published in the Art/Math Crystal Production Take-5 prints).
2. Jim agreed in advance to the interview.
3. In the classroom, the kids were placed in collaborative groups (about 5 -
6 to a group) and provided a study print of Jim's tessellation, "Escher Bowl"
as well as a handout that listed only "Who, What, When, Where, Why, and
Something else you would like to know,"
4. The kids were asked to carefully observe the art image and to write
questions about the art or the artist. I asked them to sort the questions by
topic, "who, what, etc."
5. When all groups had their questions prepared, I asked the groups to read
the information about the art and artist on the back of the print. They
shared their questions out loud and any question was eliminated that could be
answered by the information the print text provided.
6. The remaining unanswered questions were then listed. The top 6 (chosen by
the students) were emailed to Jim.
7. Jim responded the following day with his answers.
8. The students then used Jim's answers to write a collaborative article that
is published on our website and in a hardcopy of our newsletter.
Later, we were able to bring Jim to Texas from New Jersey where he met these
kids and they continued the dialogue in person. A real treat! A real plus
for Jim is that he is a natural teacher and who works well with students.
One final missive ... if you would like a hardcopy of this activity including
the handout sheet I used, original interview questions and responses, and the
students' article, I will be glad to send those to anyone who asks.
A more detailed description of this activity will be published soon in
"School Arts." If you are attending NAEA in LA, Jim and I will be presenting
this activity in a workshop there. We will also be presenting a workshop on
advanced tessellations (rotations and glide reflections). Hope to see some
of you in LA.
One more thing ...
If you plan to try this activity & you have an artist in mind, go to Yahoo
People Search or some other online people search and simply type in the name.
You'll be surprised who all is listed there! Send an email or write a
letter. As I said in an earlier posting, I have not been turned down by an
Regards from Texas,
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