Mar 22, 2012

Pop Art for Kids

Alright,so I've decided to resuscitate this blog that really barely ever got going. I frequently take a look at other art teacher's blogs, and LOVE it that so many people talk about what they do in an art class, so I thought I'd start blogging more regularly about what I do.
I teach high school art, and one of my biggest challenges is finding the time to plan assignments for the students that have special needs and are on individual education plans. Often these students will work on the same assignment as the rest of the class, but more often they will finish the assignment very quickly and will need other programming. I really love having students with different abilities and I actually really love planning new activities for them. My main problem is finding the time to plan and prep for all the extra activities. I love it when I hit on something that doesn't require a lot of prep, that fills our 115 minute time slot, and that looks good in the end.
Here are some recent creations, as a sort of ode to Andy Warhol. I previously took pictures of each student, photocopied them into sets of 4, and then had the students paint each portrait with a different colour set. They then glued their images down onto larger paper. The mot successful ones are the ones with a different colour background than foreground. This assignment promotes colour mixing, builds hand eye coordination and dexterity, an allows the students to make choices about their paint. Sometimes I find that with watercolour paint or tempera paints they can end up with something that looks more successful than with colouring materials such as pencil crayons. One student had no interest in painting a photo of himself, but he loves school buses so we photocopied a picture of a bus, and suddenly he was very keen on this assignment.

This project would work well for elementary students, possibly a simple quick project for Jr high students, and I could see the idea of it being adapted a little for high school students if more complex colour requirements were added, or if students were given the chance to edit their photos in photoshop beforehand to up the contrast, convert to black and white, and posterize their images.