I only see my 4th-6th grade students every other week. Needless to say, we won't have finished artwork to display in the hallway for another 3 weeks! I didn't want to walk through empty hallways until then and we needed an activity for the second half of the first Art class (first half= introductions, seating chart, rules, procedures) so this is what I came up with! I went through all my Art History posters and pulled a whooooole bunch, looking for diversity in time periods, styles, media, cultures, etc. and hung posters in the hall. We discussed how to act in a museum (don't touch, be quiet and respectful, act like ladies and gentlemen) and went on a tour in the hallway. I gave each student a die cut shape, a sharpie, and a piece of masking tape. Their instructions were to look at EVERY poster hanging, then pick a favorite and
"Stop, Look, and Think" about WHY it was their favorite, then write a sentence about it on their piece of paper. After writing, the students stuck their shape on the wall close to the poster.
I gave much clearer instructions after the first class when I got sentences like "It's my favorite because it's awesome" and "I like it because it's pretty." I started reviewing the elements and principles and asking the students to be more descriptive and specific. I also modeled a detailed, specific sentence for an imaginary art work. The writing really improved after that. I guess next year I'll have to add that the sentences should be something positive. I did not read each sentence, I trusted the students enough not to. I did have students point out that somebody "wrote something inappropriate" so when I checked under Grant Wood's "American Gothic", I read "I like it because it looks like he's going to stabe (stab) her with the pitchfork." I put the original and a blank die cut shape in his teacher's box with a note asking him to write a different sentence. I was back at that school yesterday and students had found another, almost identical sentence written by someone else. Did the same thing with requesting a re-write. Found yet ANOTHER almost identical sentence, this time with no name. Moving on...
If I were really smart, I would have chosen one color for each grade level. My reason: the shapes created a strong visual that showed what the students are most interested in. It would have been nice to know if there were trends based on age. I think it will give me some guidance when I plan for later lessons. The two most popular posters were an Op Art painting and a FSA Landscape painting.
Scroll down to see some more pictures of our hallway "museum"!
|Written about a Jackson Pollock painting|