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Middle School - 5 weeks of Art?

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  • Ms. Thielke
    I am about to enter my first year teaching at the middle school level. We will have 6th, 7th and 8th grade in our arts focused school in Harlem, ie: arts
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 23, 2009
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      I am about to enter my first year teaching at the middle school level.
      We will have 6th, 7th and 8th grade in our arts focused school in
      Harlem, ie: arts magnet school. This is the school's second year so we
      will only have 6th and 7th grade with about 80 students in each grade.
      The 6th graders will get an opportunity to try out the 4 different art
      majors, Visual Art, Vocal, Instrumental and Dance. They will then
      choose their focus for the rest of their 6th, 7th and 8th grade years.

      I will have about 4 rounds of about twenty 6th graders in my class for
      5 weeks, 4 days a week. At the end of each round we have a big school
      wide event wherein the students present and display what they have
      learned. At the end of the 20+ weeks, after every 6th grader has tried
      the 4 different art majors, they will interview for and decide their
      major. There will be about 20 Visual Art students that stay with me 4
      days a week until they move onto high school.

      I have been thinking a lot about what the 6th graders should explore
      during their approximately 12-16 studio days. Ultimately, I think I
      will have them work with the 7 elements of art. I am struggling with
      how long each project should last, how to incorporate historical and
      cultural aspects of art and how much homework to give. I know that for
      some of these students, this will be their last experiences with art
      making. 5 weeks feels much too short. I would love to hear your
      thoughts and suggestions!

      Angela
    • Jeff Pridie
      Angela, First off you need to know what they know. Even though they maybe coming to the Ars Magnet School does not mean they have the skill knowledge even
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 23, 2009
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        Angela,

        First off you need to know what they know.  Even though they maybe coming to the Ars Magnet School does not mean they have the skill knowledge even though they may have the passion.  Some of your students might be 2D some might be 3D style artist.  In sixth grade in my opinion they are still exploring they type of Visual Art they will be attracted to.  I think five weeks to decide what their focus will be for three years is a bit much. You could structure the class to have them experience different levels of "creative thinking".  I would encourage you to look at the Art Habits of Mind as a source of direction for your curriculum.  Using the Elements of Design with the time frame you have might work better if you also incorporate the exploration of Cultural Art Forms.  Students can see how the elements are a universal formula to making art.  Look around at the students you have in your classes and use their Cultural backgrounds as the building blocks to what cultures you decide to review.  You could have them create works that relate to a specific cultures technique or process and explain the work in the context of the Elements of Design.  Students could create a work of art that is specific to their "personal" culture either socially or globally.  The art needs to be a reflection of how they view the culture, a personal analysis of what they "think".
        Middle School students are capable of doing this.

        jeff (minnesota)




         

        I am about to enter my first year teaching at the middle school level.
        We will have 6th, 7th and 8th grade in our arts focused school in
        Harlem, ie: arts magnet school. This is the school's second year so we
        will only have 6th and 7th grade with about 80 students in each grade.
        The 6th graders will get an opportunity to try out the 4 different art
        majors, Visual Art, Vocal, Instrumental and Dance. They will then
        choose their focus for the rest of their 6th, 7th and 8th grade years.

        I will have about 4 rounds of about twenty 6th graders in my class for
        5 weeks, 4 days a week. At the end of each round we have a big school
        wide event wherein the students present and display what they have
        learned. At the end of the 20+ weeks, after every 6th grader has tried
        the 4 different art majors, they will interview for and decide their
        major. There will be about 20 Visual Art students that stay with me 4
        days a week until they move onto high school.

        I have been thinking a lot about what the 6th graders should explore
        during their approximately 12-16 studio days. Ultimately, I think I
        will have them work with the 7 elements of art. I am struggling with
        how long each project should last, how to incorporate historical and
        cultural aspects of art and how much homework to give. I know that for
        some of these students, this will be their last experiences with art
        making. 5 weeks feels much too short. I would love to hear your
        thoughts and suggestions!

        Angela


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