To make art.
To look at art.
To think about art.
To speak about art.
During my first methods class, I observed a recent grad teaching at an elementary school in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Something she said stuck with me. She told me that most adults don't spend their time making art, but they do look, think, and speak. She wanted to teach her students how to interact with art for the rest of their life, and in the manners in which they would interact---looking, thinking, speaking---not just making!
Of course there is a place for making. I spend most of my art classes making. But I've also expanded what we make beyond your traditional fine art.
Design education is a huge topic and I won't begin to scratch the surface, but one way to think about it is making images (2D), objects (3D), places (3D), and experiences (4D). My students are exposed to graphic design (images), product design (objects), and architecture (places).
The students create their advertisements in PowerPoint. We change the slide size and orientation, then use AutoShapes, Clip Art, and Text Boxes to create the ad. I like that the program is quicker to pick up than Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign. The skills they learn will transfer well to other Microsoft programs, which is handy as they enter middle school.
I do not allow the students to get images on the internet for numerous reasons, including the questionable results sprinkled in any Google image search and the quality of most of the images. If they cannot find what they want in clip art, I search for free stock photos and drop them into their folder on the network. I also give them access to the school logo and the newly designed ESLR icon.
This ad is one of my favorites. I love the use of the ESLR icon above the words. Perfect substitute for the heart!
After the images are added, I let the students vary from the original color palette. This girl decided to make her advertisement more interesting by eliminating the all-white background and adding more layers.
We don't exactly have a baseball program at our school, but I like this advertisement about learning good sportsmanship in PE class.
Po, from our production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, made this advertisement. He gave me a shout-out in his ad! He replaced Benjamin Bratt's name with his own name and "Inspired by a True Story" with "Inspired by Miss M." Unfortunately, I asked all the students to remove their names from the posters, only identifying the posters by our school, and not by the designer.
The Captain (Doc) from Snow White just loved this interactive advertisement. He suggested using the ESLR icon in place of the can of Chef Boyardee, which prompted me to make the icon available to all the students. We carefully crafted a phrase that would work on his advertisement both when folded and unfolded. I love the final result!
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