Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Art Dating

This week, I took my ones down to our local school's art show and we spent the period writing about and talking about art. This semester, we've learned a lot of vocabulary that describes things we experience and see, so this was a great opportunity to bring out these words again and dive deeper into our understanding. The kids really enjoyed the activity and we got lots of really good feedback. We were also able to take a standards grade for interaction and descriptions.

The other aspect of this time of year is that we are surrounded by testing. I might be missing any number of students any day from here on out and they may be missing me, if I am helping with testing.

The activity below is one I came up with to help get us back to our story Magus Mirabilis Oz and also to give students a relatively easy activity to get back into the swing of things after testing and spring break. I am calling it Art Dating.

Set Up
The set up required a bit of work from me, but that is because I was very particular about wanting to represent as many of my students as possible in the art work and also to make sure the images were rich with our vocabulary. I chose 15 images that represent various parts of the story The Wizard of Oz. I did a basic image search on Google, but ultimately pulled from artistic interpretations, book illustrations, stills from movies, photos from plays, anything I could find.* When it was all said and done, we had images that represented a variety of students, art styles, emotions, and parts of the story. 

I would say that making the most of a Google search is key here. To give you an example of the things I searched to find a variety of images:

Wizard of Oz, Wizard of Oz play, Wizard of Oz movie, The Wiz movie, The Wiz TV, Wizard of Oz 16th century China, Scarecrow in Oz, Lion in Oz, Wizard of Oz book, Wizard of Oz art, Wizard of Oz artwork, Dorothy and Scarecrow, Yellow Brick Road, The Land of Oz, Wicked Witch of the West, Glinda the Good Witch, 

I put all the images into a presentation and set it to rotate automatically every 15 seconds. 

Please be aware that images I am using are not copyrighted to me and were only used in my classroom for this activity. I give full credit to those to whom the images belong. 

Students looked at the scrolling images while I went over the rules so they could get a head start.

  1. Pick an image. 
  2. Describe the image as best as you can in Latin (5 min)
  3. Trade papers.
  4. Read their description and add to it. Make it the best description possible. Make it as clear as possible (6 min)
  5. Repeat 3-4 as many times as you want in the class always getting a new paper. 
  6. Trade one more time.
  7. Read this final description and do your best to recreate it on a piece of paper. 
(I recommend playing some music during this to keep from a silent room.)

If you are doing Standards Based Grading, this kind of activity is great to pull an assessment from for a few standards I can see:
  • writing standards - comfort with vocabulary, fluency, accuracy to image, etc. (you'll need names for each writing section on this one)
  • comprehension standards - how well did they relate the description by their new image? did they get the shapes and colours accurately? How clear was their image?
I learned a lot about this activity, as we all do I think, from my first period. There are a few things I changed through the day to make it clearer to my students, but also to elicit the kind of activity I wanted:
  • Chit Chat - This activity really must be void of it until the colouring. If they are talking, they lose writing time, and they get an "easy way out" of finding the image. The same really goes for cell phones. Students who had cell phones out were distracted and felt like they were rushed. This required a few reminders. The music certainly helped because it got rid of the awkward silence.
  • The NEED to be correct - Kids get really worried about getting things correct. The affective filter went up slightly when they were worried that they'd lose "points" or get a lower grade for not guessing the image correctly. When they realised they'd be creating their own images, the filter went down and they calmed down a little. I would make sure to reiterate this throughout the activity.
  • Regular Time Warnings - Make sure to give a 2 or 1 minute warning so kids don't get caught off guard when the time is called.
  • Variety - The students appreciated the variety of images: they connected a lot of ways: life representation, style of art, colour scheme, characters, animals, etc.
  • Ease of Writing - This is my own observation and not something the kids told me. The students had an easy time writing. They were nervous, but once they picked/found an image, they wrote immediately. They didn't struggle with the writing, they just did it.
Below are some samples of work. The slideshow will rotate through repeatedly!