SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2013

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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Middle School Studio Lesson Morgan, grade seven. Emily, grade eight. The Power of daydreams Amy Ruopp H ow many times throughout the day do students find themselves drifting in and out of daydreams? How many times has a teacher sighed and wondered how to keep the attention of those students? Middle-school students are at an age where everything is constantly changing. Students' minds are full of hopes, wonderings, and "what ifs." The artroom is the ideal environment to safely explore the "what ifs" through daydreams. Daydreams help us imagine things that otherwise seem impossible. Isn't dreaming fertile ground for much of our creative work? What if students could make their daydreams available 34 May/June 2013 SchoolArts for all to see? What if we gave students permission to daydream—and celebrated it? Bringing Daydreams to life I decided my students would explore portrait photography combined with found images from magazines to make their daydreams come alive. With the advent of digital photography, images can be captured, reworked, or changed to suit the needs of students. It is helpful to have a color printer for this project, although a run to the local copy store is easy and inexpensive. Students began by considering several questions about daydreaming: What inspires it? What does it feel like? What stereotypes do we have about people who are daydreaming? What if we could make that daydream real? What would we do to visually express it? Photographic Portraits For their photographic portraits, students first considered facial expressions. They could select up to three different facial expressions and even different angles from which to have their faces photographed. They could also play with lighting to create interesting tones and effects. The intention was to break the face up into sections so different angles could be combined into one portrait. The portrait had to somehow convey the emotions of the daydreamer.

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