Wednesday, June 24, 2009
To break up the class routine, you could hold an Art Olympics twice a year, although I have only done it during the last week of school. One week of one day activities! I mix up the activities each day, period to period, so I remain interested. This year: Tower building in pairs with scraps of railroad board that I saved all year (who can build the tallest tower?), Drawing a silhouette (with a sample to follow) upside down using a clipboard. I have two students at a time lie their backs on two desks with their heads hanging down. A second student holds the clipboard and a third holds the sample paper. There is no time limit. Compare the two and give small prizes. Drawing in a mirror: again, I use silhouettes...two at a time, no time limit.
Art History family feud: Divide the room in half. Create an Art History for Dummies info sheet (a brief outline of periods of your choosing). Hold up a reproduction of a famous work of art and have them identify the period, switching sides for points. Progressive drawing on big paper...my photo is bad, but all of the students (middle through high school) enjoyed it. If you don't remember doing that as a kid, divide the human body into four sections (or more) and set a timer for about 5 minutes if you are using large paper. Fold each completed section to the back and pass consistently either right or left. They are complete after four rotations. I also baked small cakes and taught the students how to decorate using pastry bags. We ate them. Older students with a double period watched This American Life, streaming through Netflix for a portion of the class time. We also listened to some nice essays from This I believe.