SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2014

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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Beginner Show students an example of a comic strip and an example of a political cartoon. Ask, "How are these cartoons similar? How are they dif- ferent?" Explain that a political cartoon's main focus is to express a point of view about current political or social events through drawing and written dialogue. Show students What? You Were Hungry? and have them share their thoughts about what point of view the artist intended to express. Next, show students Air Bears, including the polar bear video (see Resources). Ask, "Have you ever been near a subway?" "What is making the bears inflate?" "What do you think this piece is about?" "What is the artist trying to express?" Intermediate Before students enter the room, display the word, "express" on the board. Ask, "When someone asks you to 'express yourself', what does that mean?" "What kinds of things might someone need to express?" Have students write down five thoughts, opinions, or emotions that they would like to express. Have volunteers share one of the items from their list. Next, explain that art is often used for the purpose of expression. Ask students to closely examine What? You Were Hungry? and Air Bears in order to determine what each artist is trying to express. Place them in small groups to discuss their ideas, then ask a spokesperson from each group to share their theories with the class. Point out how each artist used a differ- ent approach to express his beliefs. Ask, "How might you express something through art?" Advanced Ask students to create a list of the following in their sketchbooks or journals: something that would make the world a better place; something that irritates you; something that is unfair or unjust; something you wish people would stop doing; something you love; something that you think the world should know about. Ask stu- dents to keep their responses private for the moment, but keep them in mind while viewing What? You Were Hungry? and Air Bears. Ask students to create a thumbnail sketch of each work in their sketchbooks, accompanied by their answers to the following questions: (1) What point of view is the artist trying to express? (2) How do the artist's choices about materials, process, and composition help empha- size his point of view? Explore Create Beginner Ask students to choose between creating a political cartoon or a poster design that advocates for a cause. Explain that they will use it to express their opinion on the subject of their choice. Provide a list of topics or ideas for students that have a hard time getting started. Students who choose the political cartoon can work with fine- line markers and thick, smooth-surfaced paper, such as tag or Bristol board, while those who choose the poster can use markers, colored pencils, or watercolor pencils on paper. Students should begin with at least two thumbnail sketches and, if appropriate, a rough draft in pen- cil. When completed, have students write or record a brief statement communicating the idea or point of view they chose to express and why they believe it is important to share it with others. Intermediate Ask students to return to their list of five thoughts, opinions, or emo- tions and choose two to explore as possible artworks. Ask them to create at least two sketches for each idea and exchange them with the student seated next to them. Have them answer the following questions about each sketch: (1) What is happening in this design? (2) What thoughts, opinions, or emotions does this sketch express? (3) How might the artist express his or her point of view more clearly? After the discussion, each artist should select a final idea. Allow students to work with dry media on 11 x 17" (28 x 43 cm) paper. Facil- itate a peer critique halfway through the project and discuss the con- cept of the artist's intention versus the viewer's perception, and that both can be equally important. When completed, hang the pieces in a gallery or hallway space alongside brief artist statements. Consider posting the artworks accompanied by audio or video statements on your class blog or school website. Advanced After a class discussion on the student analysis of What? You Were Hungry? and Air Bears, ask students to return to the lists they cre- ated at the beginning of class. Explain that they should choose two of their responses to express through art. Students should begin by sketching or brainstorming while con- sidering, "What materials best match my idea?" "How can my com- position reinforce my point of view?" Encourage students to consider creating two-dimensional, three-dimensional, multimedia, digital media, and interactive works. Plan for occasional group critiques or discussions throughout the project. Organize an event in which student works are displayed in a gal- lery environment. Invite the public, local media, and school adminis- trators to participate in a discussion with students about the artworks and the ideas, opinions, emotions, and thoughts that they express. Written by Karl Cole, curator of images at Davis Publications; and Robb Sandagata, digital product manager at Davis Publications. Looking & Learning Express Resources Honoré Daumier: www.daumier.org Joshua Allen Harris: joshuaallenharris.com/the-inflatables 26 December 2014 SchoolArts

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