Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Writing in the Art Room

I have been trying very hard to include writing in my curriculum this year. I believe, as art teachers, that we should try to tie in and supplement the regular curriculum whenever possible. One little way I do that is through writing. Writing can be done as a "warm up" or as a "wind down." It can take up a whole lesson or it can fill a few minutes. Writing in art can be done in so many creative ways. Here are just some of the ways I include writing with my lessons.

  • Have students write an Artist Statement to attach to their projects. I ask my students to discuss their inspiration, the process they used to create their art, and any personal stories relating to their art.
  • 30 Second Look is one of my favorite activities, especially in the elementary. If you have an interactive white board, display a work of art for 30 seconds and then have students make a list of as many things they can remember from the art.
  • Display a work of art and have each student write a "hook" to make their reader more excited to learn more about that painting.
  • Create a five senses chart for a work of art. Pretending you are inside the painting, what do you feel? taste? smell? see? hear?
  • Create a writing that details the process followed to create a work of art. Use transition words and pictures.
  • Create a KWL chart before a lesson. For example, before I teach Egyptian Art I ask them what they KNOW, WANT TO KNOW, and then what they've LEARNED after the project is finished.
  • Have reflection journals where students can not only draw sketches, but make notes about what they like about their art, what they would change, etc.
  • Have students write about the art of another student.
  • Younger children can simply describe what they see in a work of art.
I have come to embrace writing in my curriculum rather than dread having to enforce that activity. There are easy ways to do so. I truly believe it's important to show administrators, parents, and fellow teachers that art is a class that is beneficial and supportive in many ways.

2 comments:

  1. I love your ideas. Most of them make me say "I wish I had thought of that myself!"

    I would like to know more about your process. A list of all of the books you recommend and materials needed. For example the African masks are beautiful But how did you create the styrofoam prints? Are the masks wearable?

    Thank you in advance. I would love to be able to download some of your lessons at Teachers Pay Teachers Website.

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  2. Great ideas. Thanks for the inspiration. Love the 5 senses idea. I use the "I see, I think, I wonder" prompt with my kids in responding to art. I love peeking into their journals to learn what they wonder about a piece of art....some of their "wonderings" are priceless:)
    Barb

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