Saturday, September 29, 2012

Art Criticism and Aesthetics

We found out at school last week that twice every nine weeks, each grade level is going to get an hour and a half extra planning time. The specials teachers get the students while the teachers plan.  We started this schedule this past week. I know that I rather enjoy getting to see the students a little extra because it means that we can have little art intensives.

In the past, when I've done criticism and aesthetic activities with my classes, they take the whole time. Also, the students get very put out that they didn't make or produce anything. In their eyes, they didn't really have art class. I realized that this extra time is going to be great for crit. and aesthetic activities.

I saw this pin on pinterest and I knew immediately that I wanted to do this with my students.

I teamed up with the music teacher and we did this activity with the fourth grade. We had three groups of fourth graders for thirty minutes each. The first thing I did was tell them that they would be split into six groups. Within those groups they were to think about what art is. Now the picture above asks why is art important, but I think a person need to answer what is art first. I also wanted them to focus on the arts as a whole, not just visual art.

I told them to write however many ideas their group came up with on post its. Next I went over the rules.

I split them into groups making sure that boys and girls were group together, and there wasn't one big group of friends.

I gave them between ten and fifteen minutes to discuss as a group and write down their thoughts. Lastly, one person came up from each group to share the opinions and post them to the board.

Here is what our fourth graders thought. Note: I am writing the responses just as they had.
  • Art is fun.
  • Art is colorful.
  • Art is something where you can just be yourself and be creative.
  • Art is something with creativity. 
  • Art is a mystery.
  • Art is shapeful.
  • Art is creative.
  • I think art is the one way that you can express yourself.
  • Art is when you draw, sing, write, sculpting, painting, and sports.
  • Art is line shape and texture.
  • Art is something you create or make and it's your idea.
  • Taking your thoughts and making it into something really beautiful.
  • Something colorful.
  • Art expresses feelings.
  • Something with your own style.
  • Art is something unusual but amazing.
  • Before it was a thing, it was an idea.
  • Art is everything.
  • Art is peaceful.
  • If art wasn't invented nothing would be creative and nothing would be pretty.
  • Art shows your imagination and talent.
  • Without art, the world would be blank.
  • Art is a way of recording history.
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  1. I would love extra time with my students-but do you get any extra planning time?

    1. Well, we (the specialty teachers) don't have official extra planning scheduled, but we have had extra time this year. For example, we are on a Monday-Friday rotation and only have four 4th grade classes. That means one day out of the week we don't have a fourth grade class. My day is Monday. I am extremely grateful to have that time and get a lot done! So while it's not officially time set aside for us to plan, this girl isn't complaining. :)