SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2019

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 27 H I G H S C H O O L The SHAPE of THINGS H ave you woken up in the mid- dle of the night, fretting over what you will teach on that last day of school? I am fre- quently awake from 2:00 to 5:00 a.m. with my restless, anxious mind per- forming its mental gymnastics with no singular focus. However, on the last day of school of the most recent academic year, I was wide awake with a very specific focus: What in the world was I going to do with three classes of students on their last day of school before three days of exams fol- lowed by graduation day? I believe in meaningfully engag- ing students right up until the end; if they have to be at school, there ought to be a good reason. But I also believe in not crushing myself with work to grade that I cannot possibly get to—or return to students—at this most hectic time of year when we are administering and grading exams leading up to commencement exer - cises at the end of the week. Plus, I wanted students to take their last piece home if, in fact, there was to be another piece. Making Art in AP Art History I was most concerned about my high-school AP Art History class. It has been said that our subconscious minds chip away at problems to solve, even when our conscious minds are otherwise engaged. That seems to be the case, because this idea seemed to crystalize out of nowhere. I decided that students would use motifs from art history as the com - ponents of a composition created from spray paint and stencils they cut themselves. They would complete the entire piece in our 90-minute block. Choosing Motifs Students perused our Art Through the Ages art history texts looking for three to five motifs with interesting Betsy DiJulio Pravesha Ramesh, grade ten.

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