Wednesday, January 13, 2016

High School Idea Generation

After my high school art classes completed their painting, collage, and printmaking bootcamps, the next assignment was based on one of the "Connecting" National Arts Standards from the High School Proficient level. Here is the standard and my "I Can" statement:
VA:Cn10.1.HSI: I can document the process of developing ideas from early stages to fully ready ideas.

Basically, as I transition my new school to TAB, I wanted the students to practice generating ideas- which can be a challenge when you're used to being told what to do- and think about the whole process. This is the information I gave them in a handout to start the project.

Idea Generation

There are 3 parts to this project.
  1. Generating ideas
  2. Documenting your process from idea generation to finished project.
  3. Creating a studio project.

You have spent time trying out different media, observing, and practicing composition. Now you have the chance to explore an idea that is relevant to YOU in the medium of your choice. Start by brainstorming a list of subjects that are interesting or important to you- themes, places, things, activities, issues, etc.

Choose one idea to develop and work out a plan for creating it. This could include sketching and notes. When you think you are ready to start, run your idea by Mrs.Morris.

At the end of each class you will need to make a record of what you accomplished that day- notes, photos, etc.- and think about what you need to do the next day. You can do this on the back of this paper, in your sketchbook, or choose another method. At the end of the project, you will turn in a document with a summary of your idea generation, planning, and working, including sketches or photos of your work in progress.

I also emailed links to two articles from Student Art Guide about selecting subject matter and how to develop ideas. Student Art Guide has a ton of interesting and relevant articles for high school students.

Students could use any media that we'd already introduced (anything 2D) and if they had an idea about something else, I said to check with me and I would approve reasonable requests. Overall, I think most students were pretty excited to have an open assignment, except for a few that didn't know what to make. This is when we started talking about fair use and how I didn't want them to just paint trademarked things like university logos and mascots. I had a few unhappy students for a while since they had to get used to thinking beyond just copying but I think they're pretty much used to it now.

Really the only "negatives" with the studio projects were when the student tried to put in too many ideas at once or not enough. That is something that comes with practice and maturity. It's all a learning process.

The documentation process did not get full participation. I kept stressing to students that documenting was a big chunk of the grade for this project but some were still at the point where they just didn't want to do what they didn't want to do. Next year, I think I will encourage them to document the process with photography since the majority have phones with cameras. Even though that was an option, most just did the first thing on the list and gave me a written summary, or didn't do the writing part at all. Now that the students are used to me, I think I would have better participation.

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