“Art Works” is a monthly column that provides bits of know-how and reminders of ways to assure the success of your art program. In the coming year, look for advice and suggestions related to learning about, responding to and making art, integrating art into the curriculum, displaying student work, reaching out to the community, and more.–B.H. by Barbara Herberholz . when Integrated in the Curriculum “Finding Poetry in Art.” For creative writing, a number of simple ways to bind books, complete with student illustrations, provides a finished product, either as a group or individual effort. HOW ABOUT HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES? Try having a costumed model rich and stimulating opportunity awaits teachers who plan to connect or bring together an art project with another subject area of the curriculum, thus addressing the sixth listing in the National Visual Arts Standards. While art is important in its own right, the reality is there is often too much content in the curriculum nowadays and not enough time to teach it. With the emphasis on standardized testing in reading, writing and math, teachers are simply not willing to include subjects that won’t help them prepare students for these tests. Enter the visual arts! Arts & Activities publishes a number of articles that show how art-making can be multidisciplinary. While it’s convenient to integrate projects at the elementary level, some planning with faculty members who are teaching other subject areas at the middle- and high-school level is necessary in bringing about integrated programming. HOW ABOUT LITERATURE? Storytellers throughout the world have written amazing legends and tales rich in visual imagery. Folk tales introduce students to a wide range of historical periods and cultures. Poems are filled with descriptive images and often strong emotional expressions, and they present a rich and vibrant variety of subject matter— including animals, figures, places and situations—all waiting for artistic presentations by your students. The February 2009 issue featured “Literature in Art: Tints, Shades and Frost,” which describes a painting lesson based on “Birches,” by poet Robert Frost, and the April 2008 issue presented Go to artsandactivities.com and click on this button for links to download the A&A articles mentioned in this column. 14 A “Moko Jumbies: Dancing Spirits from Africa.” Masks, ceramics, woven products, carvings and cut-paper items are vibrant and lively areas to explore. The November 2009 issue featured “Ancient Mayan Glyphs,” describing how glyphs are symbols, with students creating a stamp-print of their own design to create a circular artwork. A weaving project based on Kente cloth from Africa is featured in the December 2008 issue (“Kente Cloth–Inspired Weavings”). HOW ABOUT MATH? Quilts are based on geometr y and are visually exciting, both when appreciating the designs and skills that are seen in American quilts, and for hands-on, student designing. Faith Ringgold has combined both math and stor ytelling in her colorful quilts, and the April 2008 issue of A&A featured an activity for kindergarteners, “Quilted Dreams Inspired by Faith Ringgold.” Directions for making folded-paper geometric forms are intriguing. Foldedand cut-paper projects based on four, five, six and eight portions can result in myriad final products. Another area to explore that presents a fascinating challenge is the eyeboggling tessellations of M.C. Escher. His surreal, spatial dimensions will fascinate your students as they enter his world of simple two-dimensional forms that are transformed into solid, threedimensional objects and scenes. Additionally, Victor Vasarely investigated ways of making colors and geometric shapes that seem to move backward and forward, and earned himself the title of the “father of Op art.” And, don’t overlook the geometric compositions of Joseph Albers. HOW ABOUT SCIENCE? When students of any age level study nature—insects, butterflies, ocean life, birds, mammals and plants—in science classes, they can intensify their experiences about the habitats, cycles and more by drawing, painting, modeling or making collages, see WORKS on page 49 pose for figure drawing or painting— attired in a costume representing a period in the past or from a particular world culture. A group mural is an exciting project wherein students research places and events from ancient Egypt, Greece or other countries and times. Younger grades can work together on a cutpaper mural, and older students may combine their research and efforts for a painted mural. Such group projects provide opportunities for students to brush up on their cooperative attitudes and work together, recognizing each part contributes to the whole. Learning about world cultures surely must involve the art produced, as students reflect on the beliefs and customs of different groups of people. Arts & Activities has published numerous articles showing backgrounds and “how-to” lessons from Asian, African, Mexican and other world cultures. For instance, the March 2010 issue featured “Old Sepia Photos,” in which elementar y students gained an appreciation for a past era by using old photographs of people and historical clothing as a stimulus for making portrait drawings. In the January 2009 issue, “The Art of Japanese Masks and Kimonos” had students making soft-cut print blocks for fabric patterns for kimonos and creating masks. Additionally, the same issue described how students created december 2010 x www.ar tsandactivities.com
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