Saturday, July 07, 2007

Online Art Lessons & Teaching Strategies

Tonight I've been updating the Online Art websites that I use with kids. There is a mix of 'fun', famous galleries from around the world and some lesson ideas collections.

I have used this page before to have students find an artist that they like and then introduce that person and their work to the class. I try to get them to find someone that most people haven't heard of so they expand their knowledge base of artists.

During Term 2 or 3 I use this page and break the kids into groups of 3 and each group must prepare a 'fantastic art lesson' for the rest of the class. The children need to surf the website and make decisions on what to teach. They then need to look at classroom organisation, modeling, materials needed, distribution of materials, clean up, display of finished artworks, self assessment and peer assessment. I sit down with them the day before the lesson and run through their plans with them and give them a few pointers.

I feel that exposing children to Art in this way is a rather powerful strategy. It presents the teacher with many 'teachable moments' and the children have nice sense of ownership of the process. Mind you, if my experience is anything to go by, don't pull the plug after the first week. Use the 'stuff ups' as reflection so that by the end of term the kids can run excellent Art lessons.

The other wonderful thing about this way of working is that you get an insight into where the kids are at with their concept of Art and then you can plan the next term of Art to address this.

As a bonus, by the end of term you'll probably have 10 new strategies for your Art Toolbox :)


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