SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2008

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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Left: Alexa, grade ten. Below: Stephanie, gade nine. Tamrah, grade twelve. was reminding them to make measurement marks on all four sides of their paper, and to align their ruler with both marks as they created their lines. After transferring their rough drafts in pencil to their final draft paper, students began to paint pixel by pixel. Painting the pixel-based selfportraits proceeded quickly, yet their paintings began to appear flat. Taking a second look at the work of Chuck Close, we observed and discussed how creating a variety of shades and tints of a color helped to add depth to their paintings. Reflections/Evaluation Students were asked to reflect and evaluate their work on this project in three different ways. First, in the midst of creating their project, they took a short break to do a formative peer evaluation, which I like to call the "¾ Critique." This allows students to step back from their work and, with provided questions that align to the lesson objectives, reflect on their progress toward the objectives and make adjustments as needed. Second, students filled out a selfevaluation, again answering questions that aligned to the objectives of the project as well as the guiding questions. This self-evaluation became the script for an enhanced podcast. The enhanced podcast, which is a radio show coupled with a slide show of images, became a digital gallery experience that students could share with their peers. It also provided the unique experience of hearing an artist speak about their work as it was being viewed. Third, students participated in a class auction that provided a context to the digital world their avatars would inhabit. For this auction, students created accessories for their avatars on small pieces of graph paper with color pencils. Students could create up to four accessories and would receive a set amount of virtual "money" to spend in the auction depending on the number of accessories they made. Prizes were offered for the student who bought the most accessories and the student who made the most virtual money from selling their accessories. This encouraged students to bid wisely as well as create accessories that were desirable. The auction was a sealed-price auction where students placed their bids in small envelopes without knowledge of what other students were bidding. The exploration of self-portraiture in a contemporary style really helped students connect with the guiding questions that were evident in their responses recorded in the podcasts, as well as in their self-evaluations. The simple process of painting boxes in a grid functioned well as an easy introduction to painting, and students thoroughly enjoyed the auction as a final event, giving them a fun way to further explore the digital realm. Brian Hutcheson is digital accounts manager and sales consultant for Davis Publications. NATIONAL STANDARD Students create multiple solutions to specific visual arts problems that demonstrate competence in producing effective relationships between structural choices and artistic functions. WEB LINk Go to for a sample rubric and podcast from this lesson. SchoolArts August/September 2008 31

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