Friday, June 09, 2006

Last PSU Class

So I had my last Spring term PSU class last night. We had a very similar assignment to the other class. Group presentation of a lesson plan. We had some prior assignments that we were supposed to work in and combine. Out of the 3 peeps in my group, 2 of us had prior assignments on a street art/graffiti lesson. The other girl had a lesson about taking realistic paintings and transforming them into abstractions. So, we decided to do a lesson that would talk about the history and reasons for graffiti, as well as having the kids select a realistic painting (figurative, still life, landscape, whatever) that they think represents themselves somehow. Then they'll get directions on how to abstract their painting with the intention of creating a stencil out of it. Further description of lesson plans below.

We presented this to the class (and yes, were a little disorganized... oh, well.) last night. It was pretty interesting. Some of our classmates had really good points to make about including some information on cultures or people that are marginalized in our society and how that leads to more street art, but eventually it's led to some recognition and now those same people are doing graffiti style art for commissions. Also, my group hadn't blatantly said that we were gonna tell the kids, "I'm not condoning tagging, and this isn't a license to go run aboot in the streets with a spraypaint can." So, a few people got their knickers in a uproar and were worried about parents and admin reactions. Anyhow, it really got the group talking about graffiti, what it is, what it's not, who does it, and of course.. how to teach to it. It was starting to get a little heated, and my one of my fellow presenters was getting angry, and one was just blindsided and confused (she didn't expect criticism, I guess. She kept making apologetic statements... which didn't help.). So, I kinda derailed the conversations, and stood up there making big ol' circley motions at them all and said something about how getting a discussion created and people talking and questioning is exactly the point of the lesson, and I was happy to have had this result here in our class. It calmed everyone down, and got some smiles outta people. heh. tricked them all, I did. :)

My co-presenters were still angry later, and I tried to convince them that they can't take that kind of criticism personally, and that many people had some valid points. I think that my time spent at Vesta and the super-harsh criticism style that exists there (where people yell and call each other names) made me prepared to handle this kind of interaction without getting huffy or hurt feelings or panicking. Anyhow... it was pretty amazing. We ended the night by all meeting up at the Hawthorne Hideaway (very nice bartender and waitstaff, and cheap, too!) and drinking beers until well after midnight. Good times.

Here's the lesson, If you're interested. It's kinda long...
!. Introduce the lesson with some aesthetic scans of some street art pieces. I'd try to have the street art dimension hidden for the first few. Let the kids figure out where these are displayed. Talk about elements and principles of design, and which ones are done successfully. Use a lot of stencil examples.

2. Start an Art Puzzle, and a writing reflection assignment: The puzzle has photos of really well done and complete street art in different styles, it gives a brief overview of graffiti. Then it goes on to talk about Sony's recent "guerrilla graffiti" campaign. We ask the kids, "What is art? vs. what is advertising? vs what is vandalism?"

3. We do a webquest homework assignment (unless there's a computer lab I could take them all to for one class period). I haven't made the webquest yet, but have some definite ideas and resources tucked away.

4. Do a demo on how to abstract a piece, and a demo on how to create a stencil. I'd use whatever materials the school had the most of (myler vs paper, printmaking ink & rollers vs. acrylic and sponges vs spraypaint.).

5. work days.

6. When the due date rolls around, have the kids to 3 solid prints and take them to some small group (3-5 kids) critiques.

7. We paint the stencils on our butcher paper wall (or real wall, depending).

8. The kids would do a wrap up writing assignment: a self assessment paper that asked "How does your chosen imagery represent you and why?" as well as filling out their own rubric to describe how well they thought they did on the project.

1 comment:

K Schimmy said...

Way to go, you! Huzzah for standing your ground and keeping your cool. It's interesting... you're going to start spotting the peeps who will most likely fold under the pressures of being an educator. Either they can't take criticism and cry or become way too defensive, or they are clueless to any sort of criticism and they never change their ways. They won't make it (I'm sure you've heard about the five-year burnout statistic!).