Fall ’17 Blog Post #2

November 2, 2017

What did the students do?

So between the time that I wrote my Big Idea Lesson Plan and now when i’m writing this the lesson evolved. It also isn’t finished. When I brought it up with my department chair to incorporate it into the curriculum we needed to find a place for it so we put it under our Surrealism block. Students still chose their own social justice issue but then had to give is a surrealist flair. Another evolution was instead of marbling paper and then creating one in a warm color scheme and another in a cool color scheme, my students made a bunch of marbleized paper and then have began to collage them together to create the backgrounds of their silhouettes. We are still currently in the process of creating. Students will continue to create their backgrounds and silhouettes using their chosen social justice issue theme. Some of their social justice issues have been bullying, poverty, pollution, lack of education, and health care.  


How did you implement the plan?

After discussing with my department chair we agreed to fit it under our surrealism unit. I began creating my powerpoint on surrealism. Students got introduced to the unit and then introduced to Kara Walker as a contemporary artist. We spoke about silhouettes and social justice issues in art.  After sketching their ideas and sketching silhouettes, I brought up the idea of marbleizing our own paper and showed them some videos online of demonstrations. I then demo’d for the class the method that we would be using. Currently students are at different stages of the project. Some are sketching still, some are creating silhouettes and others are marbelizing paper and beginning to collage.


How do they compare?

Students are all doing well. Some needed more help than others with developing their silhouettes and theme based on a social justice issue.


What were some challenges?

Marbleizing the paper with the large class size! It takes a lot of prep and a a lot of clean up. With 9 periods of the day and only 3 minutes in between each one, it’s almost impossible to keep it all under control. I ended up leaving it out in the corner of the room and just making a barricade around it when not using it.


What were some successes?

Most of my students really took the time with their ideas and sketching them out. (Which is why we are so all over the board with progress) but they really are taking their time. For the first time trying this out, I am really pleased with the ideas that I am seeing.


How does your environment affect the teaching big ideas and questions?

I teach high school art in Westchester, NY in a affluent community. I feel my environment affected my student’s ability to think large and think of social justice issues outside of their own communities. To have them think larger than themselves, their friends and their school. I told them to think of issues they want to solve in the world, think of issues that make them feel uncomfortable. Think of issues they never want to experience. These are the issues that need awareness, which is what art can do.


How did this lesson plan fit in with your larger curriculum?

With my school, they have a set curriculum. You can update and change projects but there is a set curriculum of mediums and styles that need to be touched upon. To accomplish this, my department chairperson and I fit this lesson under surrealism. My student’s silhouettes based on a social issue also had to have surrealist elements.


How do you think this experience will affect your future practice?

Its definitely a learning curve. I will have to fit this better into my timetable for the marking period. So it doesn’t fall between the end of one marking period and the beginning of another (next wednesday). I also have to figure out the chalk/water bin situation. I need to make that more streamline. I will definetly attempt this again during the summer at the camp I work at see if it goes more smoothly.