Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Social Studies Tie In

I know many art teachers hesitate to tie their art projects to Social Studies or Science, lest we be asked to make paper mache' globes, or solar systems. I however have found a few projects over the years that are much richer in content and quality because I tie them to what the students are doing in their classroom. I don't do this all the time, because I have my own curriculum to cover. When contemplating whether or not a collaboration will work, I consider what materials and content my students are already going to be using in art, regardless of subject matter. I also consider time frame. In this instance, 4th grade students used famous Tennsesseans to create timelines in Social Studies.  They already had information, books and knowledge about their person. I was supposed to  cover printmaking anyway, so I had each student draw a portrait of their chosen TN personality.  We looked at the work of Andy Warhol and discussed his celebrity prints.  Each student created several prints (6''squares) from their printing plate (good ole styrofoam) and when dry, selected their best 4 prints, arranging them in a grid. It was a logical tie in, and because the classroom teacher had already assigned the students their person, and the librarian already had pulled the books, I didn't have to worry about having enough information, or settling arguments about subject matter. It worked well.

Oh, and do you use Artsonia?  I do.  And, I don't have a fancy iPad or such to use, so I take pictures with my camera, and upload the old fashioned way.  I find that the best, and quickest thing to do, is to lay every piece out, walk down the line and take all of the pictures, and walk down the line one more time (same order) to write names and take grades.  While the pictures are uploading, I load all the grades into the software program we use in MNPS.  So, I kill alotta birds with one stone, and it's not too time consuming this way.

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