SchoolArts Magazine

March 2017

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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four to six ideas for photographs. Next, I informed them of the requirements for the photography portion, which they were all looking forward to. I t was challenging to have students choose to work with peers based on their masks versus choosing their friends. In the end, students took photographs with their friends, but eventually became more comfortable posing in their masks together. The next class period was devoted to showing a slideshow about creative photography. We examined photos showing different visual perspectives, the Rule of Thirds, cropping, and creating a sense of mystery in photos. Each student had to submit three different photographs: a self-portrait and two group photos. Many students demonstrated leadership by setting up and com - posing their photos. Some used apps This lesson started with an in-depth conversation about the social masks that we wear ever a . on their phones to add text to their photos or to change their photos to black and white. Students took photographs for one class period and e-mailed me pictures to print. Depth of Knowledge Halfway through the project, I had students set their own criteria using a rubric based on their individual skill levels in the following areas: • Create: Rate control of media, skill level, and effort in class. • Connect: Express how common emotions can be shown and exag - gerated through mask-making. • Respond: Evaluate through writing how our masks convey meaning. • Present: Produce work that is neat, clean, and complete. We continued our discussion about masks, this time making connec- tions to the social masks we wear. A student described his mask as the "confident athlete," yet he really might not have felt that way at the end of the day after losing a game. We discussed emotions that we show or hide. Some students pointed out that their social masks change as they grow and develop as adults. There were many opportunities for students to lead their own projects and evalu- ate themselves. They amended their rubrics as they added challenges or reset expectations and learned how to assess quality work. Closure I was impressed with the simplicity of this project and the outcome of the photographs. Students who had not taken formal photography classes were able to create some really beauti- ful, thoughtful compositions. Kala Phelps is a grade 2– 8 art teacher at Tucson Country Day School in Tucson, Arizona. kphelps@ tcdcharterschool.com N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Presenting: Realizing artistic ideas and work through interpretation and presentation. W E B L I N K S www.notorious-mag. com/2012/12/11/saul-steinberg- masquerade/ arttcds.weebly.com www.saulsteinbergfoundation.org SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 35

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