Images are an integral part of my art room. The possibilities for integrating digital cameras, digital images and photo editing programs are endless. In the past I have relied on art prints, books and lesson samples for visual resources. This has been limiting as my print collection is sparse and checking out/buying art books is time consuming and expensive. When I received a projector and document camera last spring I started to change how I presented my lessons and visual resources. I hope to transition from print resources to digital resources for examining works of art, studying artists and presenting different art making processes. Furthermore I hope to educate myself so that I may teach my students how to use digital programs to increase their digital literacy and expand their art making opportunities. With these goals in mind I have created three ways to incorporate digital images into my classroom.
The first way I would like to use digital images/ editing software is to update a 6th-8th grade required lesson. Our district asks students at the middle school level to create a self portraiture painting each year. 6th-8th grade students are also required to demonstrate a mastery of creating value in a painting. Finally they need to be able to create an abstracted work of art based on a realistic object or image. Typically these three goals are demonstrated through three separate projects. I would like to fulfill all three goals at once using digital images as a springboard.
I plan to take a photo of each student with a digital camera and put those images in a folder where each student can access their image. Then using editing software I want each student to crop the photo, take out any background images, switch the photo to gray scale, and finally simplify and abstract their image using the equivalent of the "posterize" effect. I would then print each students altered image and have them transfer the shapes of their abstracted self portraiture onto Bristol paper. Next I would have students look for the different values of gray in their altered photo and label those areas 1-5 (one being lightest, five being darkest) on both their photo and Bristol paper. Next I would have them mix five values of paint to correspond with their labels. Finally I would have them paint their abstracted image using the photo as a paint by number guide of sorts. This project would merge traditional painting skills with modern digital images and altering.
My second idea would be a project with our K-4th dual immersion program. Our kindergarten immersion class is 80% native Spanish speakers who are learning English at school along with conducting most of their day in Spanish. By 4th grade the dual immersion students are proficient in both English and Spanish. I would like to have the current 4th grade immersion students use their knowledge to create picture books for the kindergarten students that have text in both languages.
4th grade students would use digital cameras to take photos illustrating different alphabet letters and sounds. I like an alphabet book because there are about 26 4th grade immersion students so each student could be responsible for one letter of the alphabet. Each alphabet book page would have an image that applies to that letter and have the word that goes with that image in both Spanish and English. We would take all 26 images. laminate them and bind them into a book for the Kindergarten class. (For example: The letter Z could illustrate the word Zapato. The student assigned to Z would photo graph one or more shoes to go with the letter, the word in Spanish (zapato) and its English equivalent (shoe).
My third idea for using digital images in my classroom applies to both my lesson preparation and student assessment. I try, as often as possible, to demonstrate art lessons and techniques under my document camera so I may project my demonstrations in large format making it easier for students to see what I'm doing and follow along. However, several types of art media either do not fit or are not appropriate to put under my document camera. Ceramics and printmaking being the most problematic.
My 5-8th grade students are slated to start a month long printmaking unit at the end of February. I would like to take digital photos of the five printmaking processes (collagraph, linocut, monoprint, stenciling, and etching) that I teach and turn these photos into five slide presentations. I would like to also include digital examples of each of these methods in each slide show.I hope that by using digital photos I could crop, zoom in and add text on the slides to help students better understand the details of correct printmaking.
I would also like to take digital photos of the basic equipment that we use for printmaking and print these photos and add them to my word wall so that their is an image to go with the description of the material or process. I feel I could also use these images, and the definitions I already have, to create a matching game to use as a pre and post assessment. I am particularly interested in this project idea because I could easily incorporate aspects of SIOP (Sheltered Immersion Observation Protocol) a program that my school is currently working to integrate into each classroom for our sizable population of ELL students.
Each of these project ideas would allow me to learn how to use digital images, editing software and presentation methods to enhance my students learning in their day to day art lessons.