Tuesday, July 19, 2011

un-gracefully crashing through art history- part one

Part 1: The background/motivation. This post will talk about the background of this lesson. The next one will show samples and the third post will talk about what worked well and what needs to be changed.

At end of the spring semester, as the middle school students were done with their Middle ages and Renaissance unit I was having trouble figuring out what to do with the last three weeks of classes. I had originally planed to spend just a few weeks on the Middle ages and Renaissance and spend the rest of term doing a overview of some major art moments from the 1880's onward. I bit of an ISMS thing if you please.

But each lesson was talking way longer than I planed, my kids had spring fever and first period attendance was AWFUL. I was tired of hearing...."I don't have a project to work on...I haven't been here for days I don't know what we are doing", or seeing projects half done and abandoned and wasting materials.

So I started thinking of lessons that could be done in one, maybe two, class period so that students who hadn't shown up for days still could/had to participate. And I still wanted to do something with the ISMS. And I was really low on supplies...Then I remembered seeing this on Artsonia and saving this one photo but not noting who the lesson came from. Can anyone claim it or help me ID the original teacher?
So obviously each rectangle features the fruit in a different style of art or artist. Rectangles that could be small...and quick...and done in ONE DAY!

I thought this type of lesson would work well for my situation but we would do six mini lessons on six artists so even if students missed a few days we could have a finished work of art at the end. Basically we could crash though art history in 6 or 7 days. Why not...we had nothing to loose.

In the end I made six power points looking at six isms or periods in art from the Renaissance till modern art. I made sure each power point would take about 20-30min to go through, would show at least five artists from that ism or time period, could have a student response guide to fill out as we went though the PowerPoint and then a short mini lesson to demonstrate that style of art.

We ended up doing 7 min lessons a rectangle each of:
*Value/shading with pencil to show from and lights and dark (Renaissance)
* A dot and dash combo for impressionism with oil pastel (Monet, Van Gogh (yes, I know he was a post impressionist) and others from that movement)
*"Broken glass" style cubism with crayon (Picasso others)
*Bold line, shape and color patterns with marker (Matisse)
* Complementary color sets with tint and shade for the Fauvists with paint (Thumbs down on this one)
*Warhol pop-art repeating images with markers
* Marble paint and splatter paint "action painting" paper that was then cut into the shape of the object (for Jackson and non-objective art)
*In the future I would use up scratch foam scraps and do a little print of the image

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