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My department has implemented a great sponge activity that is also a great way
to teach art history. We have an overhead of a Masterpiece up when students
enter the room. They sit down get out a sheet that has four boxes down the
left side (for Mon. thru Thurs.) Title:____________________________
Next to each box on the right hand side is the above prompts. I put the
information on a transparency for them to put in their notes that overlays
the overhead. Other teachers in my dept. write the info on the board. I also
have hard copies for the RSP kids to take to their table to copy (they have a
hard time with copying from the overhead). They sketch out the image in the
box and write the info with each overhead daily, then on friday I choose one
to put up for a test. They need to write down the Title, Artist, Style, Origin
and Date. I give them extra credit if they can tell me the media. They do
really well. It's just like remembering a favorite Music group or song. If
they are absent for one of the days they get the notes from someone in class
or hope I put up one from the day they were present. They love to try and
guess which one I'm are going to put up. They listen for hints. It is also a
great discussion starter. Sometimes we talk about a piece for a few minutes
after I take roll and they have done the note taking. Talk about a great way
to build that Allusionary base!
I can't take credit for this idea I think it was from David Baker at the
California Art Conference in San Diego back in 94.