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My high school kids (9-12) are required to submit written critiques to =
me every other friday. =20
I post an art reproduction on the board on a Monday, they have until =
friday to respond to questions that I put up with it. I break it down =
so that they are doing descriptive writing first (tell me what you see =
as a subject in the painting), then they are asked questions relating to =
the elements of art/design. They have to provide complete sentence =
answers. I usually have them answer higher order thinking questions as =
well-If this were done in a cool color scheme, how would the mood =
change? What can you tell about the economy, culture, etc. of the =
people in this painting based upon what you see? I then ask my kids an =
opinion question. What do you like the most about this piece, or what =
did you find the most interesting about this artist.
When the assignment is placed on the board, we spirit read a typed "rap" =
sheet on the artist. I prepare a written biography (shortened) and a =
few words about the time period, style of art, or the particular art =
piece. Sometimes I will ask questions regarding comparisons between art =
styles or artists.
Ever since I started having my students do this written critiques, I =
have found that they can use art terms more easily in their own works. =
They have learned to point out examples of design flaws more readily, =
and they are much more aware of different styles of art. I have also =
found that some of my mediocre drawers are very good at understanding =
art on a higher level. Their skills might not be an "A" in drawing, but =
they will do very well in a college level Art History Survey course some =
day! Most importantly, it is very rewarding when we go to the National =
Gallery of Art for a field trip and they are calling out the names of =
artists that they recognize.
So, yes, Writing does and should take place in art!
Hope this helps!
Kim in PA
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