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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Middle School Studio Lesson M iddle School students present unique challenges to the visual arts teacher. Through our teaching, how can we touch the academic, emotional, and social lives of students entering their early teen years?Weallknowhowemotional and energetic our middle school students are. If our lessons are to rate high with them, we must not only appeal academically to their inquisitiveness, but appeal to their old-fashioned, yet relevant to these times. Obtaining something precious without a monetary transaction was an act I felt would add to my students' emotional growth. The Lesson The art lesson began with a review of altered art. My students had already experienced this approach to art by altering books in the beginning of the school year. I explained the history of the artist trading card project and along with the date and any other information that might be pertinent (title, series numbers, class period etc.). I recommended that the work be two-dimensional but allowed for deviation. The second handout was an idea sheet that included ideas for subject matter, materials, and techniques. Organizing Materials Students were informed that this project would continue throughout artiSt tradiNg First three trading cards: Juliana Dolin, TheKingofHeartsSeries, grade eight, collage. Middle three trading cards: Justine Shin, Selection of Cards, grade eight, collage. Last two trading cards: Kimberly Schoenberg, Butterflies, grade eight, rubber stamp prints. social and emotional development as well. What projects will the majority embrace and use to exercise their creativemuscles?Oncecompleting these projects, will students walk away with a broader understanding of theroleartcanplayintheirlives? The Inspiration When I first saw examples of artist trading cards, I felt very drawn to this art form and its premise: artist trading cards can be traded but must never be sold. Perhaps it was the art of bartering that appealed to me as much as the creation of miniature works of art. In a world that can sometimes be so materialistic and greedy, the art of bartering or trading to obtain something seems 48 schoolartsonline.com how the idea has been embraced by the school year, and that they would artists, students, and teachers around be creating cards in between major the world. Students viewed examples projects and as homework. They were of artist trading cards in the books also given class time to complete a that I purchased, and they were also card, often with a suggested theme allowed time to or material. I explore individorganized three Obtaining something ual artist's tradprecious without a monetary small baskets ing card websites. with most of the transaction was an act I felt necessary matewould add to my students' rials so that the Handouts emotional growth. I provided my project could be students with worked on at will. two handouts. The first one included One basket held two small containhistorical information along with ers of découpage glue and several glue three major guidelines: (1) trading sticks. Another basket held various cards must always be 2½ x 3½" (6 x 9 types of support stock cut to 2½ x cm) in size; (2) the cards must never 3½". A third basket held paper to be be sold; and (3) the back of the card used as collage material. Students had must have the name of the artist, easy access to various other materi-

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