In the first week, I attempted to put the kibosh on the second question/issue... and in fact spent a full week hearing about the first. I first explained how artists come up with ideas through brainstorming, associating, symbolism, then how they begin to create artwork through planning and choices. Our artwork? An Identity Collage that would become a significant piece of artwork- their signature, really... Their Sketchbook Cover!
Over the past quarter, students have mainly been working on exercises and small projects mostly within their sketchbooks. This was a way for students to use what they have learned over the past quarter to create a piece of artwork that was truly, uniquely all their own. Students answered questions about themselves (which they were really into!), created a word web to help come up with visual examples (that they could include in their collage), that was all about who they REALLY are. One thing I did emphasize during this discussion is that we are always changing our identity, and that parts of our identity are hidden or disclosed when around different people. Students were to really take time to reflect on who they are... not two years ago, not once they graduate high school, but right now, this minute. Students were surprisingly incredibly honest with themselves!
What were my expectations?
Students were expected to create a watercolor ground to start their collage (we spend a few days practicing different watercolor techniques), students had to use one of their own drawings within the piece, they had to use some sort of text or writing, they had to use 3 elements of design in which to focus on, they had to use these elements to show emphasis and unity. Lastly, I required students to type a two page paper discussing their artwork. An artist statement? INDEED! (If only I could have tape recorded the whining that went on about THAT one!)
Oh the woes of planning your own lesson.
|This student worked hard to used warm and|
cool colors to create emphasis in her piece.
Last year, I taught 5 classes of photo 1. I found a really great pace with my students. I pushed them when they needed to be pushed, and slowed down when they needed to slow down. I found I was able to get some really outstanding artwork out of these students. This year, however, I am really struggling with what I should be defining as success. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am finding myself more closely connected with having social and behavioral successes with my students this year than I have had to in the past.
|This student is an incredibly |
talented graffiti artist.
|This student really loves to draw (and|
actually states that he hates collaging).
However, when I told him that he could
collage his drawings, that made him love
collage in a whole new way! I particularly
like his use of the grayscale and red palette.
|This student is about to graduate|
and really thinking about her
future. She used shapes within her
piece to unify the different topics
on her mind as well as warm and
What would I do differently? I think that because this is such an identifying piece of artwork, I would probably just make this a two week assignment in the beginning of the school year. I would introduce collage and talk about the different ways one can collage. Then, let the students have at it, guiding and reviewing along the way. This would be a really great beginning project because students (I think) will take ownership of their sketchbook right off the bat. It will also give me a chance to see where students' talents/abilities are, and since students are moved in and out of my classes very frequently in the beginning, students who come in later would not feel as though they have missed a lot (easy for them to catch up). Students still had a difficulty with composition and overlapping items, so I would probably do a composition exercise as well.
Did I mention that I also teach autistic students?