SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 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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Elementary Studio Lesson What You know What You See After Tracey Hunter-Doniger W hy is art important?" can imagine, without any visual or "What significance tangible examples the drawings were does art have to real not up to par. The flowers were all in life?" "I'm not an artist, a straight line in a vase. The fruit was so why should I try?" These, and many flat looking with little dimension. other questions are Most of the pictures asked of me on a reguwere small and I asked students to lar basis by students, lacked any detail. "turn off" their left teachers, and adminI explained brains and draw what to students that istrators. they actually saw, not this was occurring As an experiment, I decided to show my because they were what they knew. third, fourth, and fifth using the analytical grade classes the importance of art as side of their brains, or the left side a brain research project. I also wanted of the brain. This is the side that to prove what a difference quality art is straightforward and precise. It is instruction from a licensed visual art the side of the brain that you use educator could make. for math and rely on for memory. The left side of the brain wants the facts only. For instance, if you draw Left-Brain Drawing a hand, the left side of the brain is To begin my experiment, I had stuhappy with a blob with five lumps. dents close their eyes and picture a The basics are there, and you know it still life. I had them draw the image they formed inside their heads. As you is a hand, lifelike or not. 30 August/September 2013 SchoolArts Right-Brain Drawing In contrast, the right side of the brain is more creative and focused on the details that make a picture whole. In the instance of the hand drawing, the right side of the brain would hone in on the realBefore istic details such as the lines and proper proportion of the fingers. To help develop students' rightbrain skills, I used reproductions of works by Vincent van Gogh and Paul C├ęzanne to help students grasp the concept of a successful still life. I also used artificial fruit and flowers so students could actually feel the textures and the contours they were to recreate and see the shadows that were cast upon each object. After they explored their still-life compositions, I asked students to

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