Jun 1, 2010

Human Rights Painting Project

I sent an email out to a teacher who was on the lookout for teachers who promote social justice or human rights issues within their school or classroom. I thought I'd share about this painting project that I had my grade 9 art class do. Students were to take a human rights issue and promote, uphold, or show an original perspective on that issue through a painting. They were to think about what kinds of symbols and imagery they could use to represent issues based around the Declaration of Human rights put out by the United nations. I suggested they start with a quote by a famous human rights advocate, and try to come up with some relatable images. This was a challenge for most of my students, and in retrospect this may be a project better suited for a grade 11 or 12 class, but there were several students who really took the project to heart and ended up with some really nice paintings. The pictures shown above are student examples. I decided to do this project because of a Canada-wise painting contest that was open to high school students.

I started the assignment by showing students video about the Declaration of Human rights. This was useful not only to inform students, but also to get them thinking about possible symbols and images(and that their images did not need to be elaborate to show the idea). I also supplied a handout of quotes by Human Rights Leaders to get students started.

Here are some video links that I showed in class:
Declaration of Human rights:


Martin Luther King Jr. Video:

Here is the handout that I gave students:

Human Rights Perspective
Painting Assignment

You will be creating an image that promotes, upholds, encourages, or shows perspective on a human rights issue.

Human Rights Definition:
pl.n. The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.

You will be creating your image with acrylic paint on illustration board. You can reflect on the past, present, or even think of potential issues for the future.
To begin this assignment:
1. Brainstorm about what kind of human rights issue is important to you.
1. Complete an Internet search for a quote regarding a human rights issue. http://www.wisdomquotes.com/cat_human_rights.html
Use a quote as a basis for your ideas. OR if you have a good idea to start with of what images you want to use then start sketching.
2. Begin some sketches about what kinds of images and words you will use. You may choose to illustrate the quote, and include the words, or work only with images.
3. Sketch your image on illustration board.
4. Paint your image.
5. Write a paragraph reflecting on what images you chose to use and why, and your opinion of your finished piece.

Some Human Rights activists who may inspire you with their quotes: Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Jimmy Carter….there are many more…

Human Rights Painting Evaluation

Workmanship-Neat and clean. Time, effort, process and planning are demonstrated

Creativity and Composition- Images used are creative and original. They are arranged in an interesting way that makes good use of the space. /10

Use of theme-Human Rights issues are evident in the painting. Images and words promotes, upholds, encourages, or shows perspective on a human rights issue successfully.

Use of Paint and colour choice-Paint is blended well and is evenly applied. Colours used enhances the piece. Colours are mixed well. There is a variety of darks and lights. Colours have been blended to create a variety of colours. More than one layer of paint is applied where needed.

Total: /30

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