Last Saturday, I attended a class at the Art Institute of Chicago for
educators called "Looking Critically at Political Art." It was fascinating! I
would like to share a terrific idea that I plan to try out tomorrow with my
upper grade kids (7th, 8th grades). Here it is:
CONSTRUCTING A PRESIDENT
Students will be introduced to artwork and other forms of visual culture
that address issues of representational politics and political campaigns.
What images of political candidates are we currently exposed to in visual
culture? What do we learn from these images? What do the images teach us?
Students can use journal writing to describe the political and social issues
that are important to them as individuals and as part of a larger group.
Students also begin to describe how they would like their political candidate
to look. They can focus on underrepresented individuals (women or minorities).
Students will look at various artists political and social issues.
Students will answer specific questions that relate to ideas they have written in
Students will begin to construct their presidential candidate by looking
through magazines and finding images that relate to the ideas that they have
written about in their journals.
The class is broken up into groups, the groups will function like political
campaign consultants. Each group is expected to produce the following:
A SLOGAN: No more than 3 words: has to relate to the issues that the group
decides are important. (You can also discuss why the limit is three words)
IMAGE: The image must consist of a full body. Each body part has to stand
for something: the body parts have to represent the issue that the students
Head: Arms: Torso: Legs: Context:
Example: The head could stand for intelligence, Arms: Power or strength,
Legs: Energy, etc.
Enjoy, everyone! Don't forget to tell your kids how important it is to vote