Thursday, August 15, 2013

How To Handle "Extra" Art Time

Still from The Painting
 Today, during Art, we've had a Percussion Performing Arts group visit to share their beats. It has been awesome, but it leaves us with only 15 minutes for each Art class.  I like for my students to work large, and to use complex materials (or at least as complex as possible for their abilities). Needless to say, 15 minutes is about enough time to get in the classroom, take attendance, get out work, put up work, and leave. Ha! We can do everything but work.

I still wanted my students to participate in something meaningful, educational, and art-based. But, I loathe showing them some dull (and, c'mon, you know they're dull) Art video/cartoon about some dead, European, White, guy. The aesthetic of the cartoons are too juvenile for my Middle School aged students, and they definitely aren't sophisticated enough, content-wise, to speak to them.


I came across this fantastic little jewel of an animated movie, The Painting. It works in character education, social justice, Art, artistic elements, and animation all into one, sweet, beautiful, work. You can rent it for three days on Amazon for $3.99 or buy a streaming version of it for $9.99. It is well worth the price. I intend to keep showing my students little snippets of it as the year progresses.

Here is the review from Fandango:
Director Jean-Fran├žois Laguionie crafted this rich, artist parable set in a world of classical paintings, where one woman's imperfections have rendered her a social outcast. In a kingdom of extraordinary color, society has been split into three castes: the Allduns, who have been completed by the Painter, dwell in sprawling mansions at the top; the Halfies, who have been left somewhat incomplete, are the commoners; and at the bottom are the wretched Sketchies -- crude charcoal scribbles that have been cast off into the cursed forest. Castigated for her love of noble Alldun Ramo, heartbroken Halfie Claire vanishes into the forest. Meanwhile, Ramo and Lola set out to find Claire, braving the dreaded Death Flowers at the edge of the forest and eventually crossing through the canvas into the Painter's abandoned studio. Now with each new painting these intrepid explorers enter, they come one step closer to understanding what the Painter had envisioned for them when he first put brush to canvas.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Wonderful First-Day-of-Art Activity

Still looking for that perfect activity for the first day of Art class?

I came across this awesome scavenger-hunt activity over at Art with Oliveri (are you reading her blog, why not?!). It is a wonderful activity for middle and high school students.

Sadly, my first day has already come and gone for the first quarter. . .But, I think this would be a great activity for my 6th graders for the 1st day of second quarter.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What is Art: Welcome to the 2013-14 School Year


The first day of school is tomorrow; I'm so excited to see my kiddos again.  This year is a little bittersweet because I'm really sad that I won't have my now-9th-grade students; they're off to high school. A few of them came by to visit me during meet-n-greet, and I was thrilled to see their high-school schedules and talk about their summers. . .But, again, I'm sooo bummed I won't get to see them every day.

On the sweet side, I have an AWESOME group of students this year, and even one special class of kiddos who will be earning high school credit for their work in Art class. So, heck yeah.

I get bored with the back-to-school rule-review as I repeat it at least 14 times during the first week. So, this year, I made a little meme/gif/image-based presentation to introduce me, my rules, and expectations for the classroom. Feel free to head on over to slideshare, download the presentation, and edit it to suit your needs (there are a lot of animations in the presentation; you have to download it to view the animations).

Also, a few of you asked for a copy of my "What is Art?" presentation; You can view it (and then head over to slideshare to download and edit) below: