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Lesson Plans


postcards

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
One of the Colmans (colmans1)
Sun, 4 Oct 1998 06:15:31 -0400


I agree with John about the versatility of postcards. I bought the Taschen
postcard books from Barnes and Noble and received a 20% teacher discount. I
think the final price for each book of 30 postcards was about $5.60. (some
I bought were Frida Kahlo, Kandinsky, Impressionism, Chagall, Dali, Picasso
and Matisse.) I used them to decorate the covers of art journals for my 7th
and 8th graders. I folded an 18x24 piece of construction paper (heavier
would be better but I didn't have anything like that), taped the postcard to
the cover and wrote the name of the student in calligraphy underneath the
card. Inside was the first writing assignment which was to record their
initial responses to the card on the front of the journal. I asked them
specific questions such as: What appeals or doesn't appeal to you about
this painting? Why? Why do you think the artist might have created this
work of art? Does it have a connection to anything in your life? I am
attempting to set up a non-threatening, open ended inquiry where the
students don't feel intimidated. It also gives me an opportunity to see
where they are at in their aesthetic development. As expected, all are
beginning viewers and really need experience with looking at art works.
When I first give them the assignment, some look at me like I'm
crazy--"What? This is art--we don't do homework or write in art class!"
This is my first year in the system and I am trying to introduce some new
concepts that will take a while to catch on. One needs to start somewhere!
Anyway, they do like the journal covers and appreciate having something that
is attractive and personalized. The next assignment is to do a biography of
sorts on the artist who painted the piece on the cover. I ask them specific
questions as I don't want something printed off the internet. After that, I
will ask them to re-evaluate the painting (looking at works of art is
something that is never finished and one can keep going back and finding new
things), in light of information that they have gained in researching the
artist. Later on, I plan to have the students choose a reproduction upon
which to reflect and write about. All writing is kept in the journal and is
also checked for composition and spelling. I believe firmly in the fact
that writing is an area that needs tremendous focus in today's curriculum
and as an art teacher, I can contribute.

Now, the real reason I'm writing is to ask about other ways of using
postcards. Do any of you have tried and true activities, games, writing or
other experiences that you love doing with your students? I thought that
together we could all brainstorm the perfect postcard activity list! Marian