Art Lesson Ideas

Middle School Classroom

Grade: 6-8
Subject: Art
Objective: The student will be able to analyze and describe the artistic styles associated with renowned artists.
Original Post: Screencasts Turn Students into Digital Teachers

In most subjects, students are asked to do a report and give a presentation on a specific person or topic. I’ve seen art teachers have their students report on the characteristics of Jackson Pollock or Frida Kahlo’s styles. Why not have your students create a screencast to communicate this knowledge? They could pull up photographs of artwork on their computer. Then, while recording with Jing, they could explain their thinking about brush strokes and color as they annotate over specific parts of the paintings. You could then use these screencasts to help instruct future students, or post them online to help teach art students around the world.

High School Classroom

Grade: 9-12
Subject: Social Studies, Science, English Language Arts, or Art
Objective: The student will be able to communicate the beliefs and motivations of a historical figure, based on research.
Original Post: Harness the Power of Social Networking in Your Classroom, Safely and for FREE

In social studies, students research leaders of countries. In science, they learn about famous scientists. In English language arts, they study remarkable writers. And in art, they learn about artists.

For each of these tasks, teachers can have students choose a specific famous figure. Through research, the students become experts on their subjects. Then, the role playing begins. Using a social networking site, students create profiles in the guise of their subjects. They update their status, leave comments, and post questions that their subject might actually post. (Wouldn’t it be great to post a status update as Emily Dickinson every day for a month? “I’m nobody, who are you?”) They interact with other historical figures – have conversations and debates – in the role of these subjects.

Teachers can create rubrics for this assignment as they see fit – for example, the profile must include the figure’s birthday, childhood details, photo, and beliefs about government. Each student must update their profile at least once a day and must comment on at least three other students’ profiles each day.

Grades can reflect how often a student contributed to the class network, as well as how accurate his/her statements were.

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