Q: What is an effective way to use ArtsConnectEd to teach an art class to grade 8 students?
What is an effective way to use ArtsConnectEd to teach an art class to grade 8 students? I will be teaching a Grade 8 class once a week a general art class. I will be required to teach rhythm and balance and review the elements from grade 6 and 7 including line, color, symmetry, and medium. I am looking for a few simple projects as I am not an artist, but I would like to get a good result.
Margaret, 8th grade teacher
A: Here are some suggestions for how you might use ArtsConnectEd to create some learning resources for teaching about the elements and principles of art
Sounds like you have a great opportunity, but some work ahead planning for your 8th graders. Here are some suggestions for how you might use ArtsConnectEd to create some learning resources for teaching about the elements and principles of art:
The Artist’s Toolkit would be a good place to start to review the elements and principles. You can link to it by going to the Art Finder, opening the “Interactive Resources” tab and scrolling down to The Artist’s Toolkit icon. This interactive web site includes animated illustrations of elements in works of art, an illustrated encyclopedia of Elements and Principles, videos of two artists working with them, and opportunities for students to create simple works online. If you can bring your students into a computer lab, they would enjoy exploring this site on their own, or you can use it for a class presentation or demonstration.
You can also create your own Art Collector sets to demonstrate these elements to your students. I would recommend entering keywords such as “rhythm”, “balance”, “pattern” etc. in the art finder and then save the results that you like in an Art Collector Set. You can also browse through all the works of art with images to discover more. I know this may seem daunting, because there are so many works of art on ACE, but it is really a good way to discover hidden artwork treasures. If you do find a work that is a good example of an art element, be sure to tag it with that term so others can also find it.
Once you have created an Art Collector set or sets to demonstrate the elements or principals you wish to teach, you can add discussion questions or assignments to the set by writing in the “description” box for the set or the “display annotation” box for individual slides. You can also combine slides to create comparison/contrast opportunities.
You can share it with your students in a number of ways using the options available in “Set Actions”:
- Use the present mode for a classroom discussion or demonstration.
- Save it as a PDF to present offline.
- Create handouts or printable versions of the set.
You can also use an art collector set you have created as an assignment for your students. They will also need to register as ArtsConnectEd users.
Create a link to your set, and then have students duplicate it to their art collector sets.
This is a good way to have students respond to art works you select and answer questions you pose. They can email the set with their replies back to you.
For instance, test their knowledge about an element through prompts in the annotations such as:
“Describe how this art work shows rhythm (or another element or principle).”
“How did this artist use line (or color, or another element) as an expressive tool in this work? How might you change that element to express a different mood or feeling?”
“Both of these artworks employ shape (or another element). Compare or contrast how each artist uses it in the composition.”
“What art works in this collection show symmetrical balance? Which show asymmetrical? How can you tell?”
A set can also serve as inspiration for students to make an artwork using that element:
“Pick one artwork from this collection that interests or attracts you. List the elements and principles that you notice. Create a drawing, painting or collage that transforms it somehow by changing how the elements or principles are used.”
I am sure once you get started, you will think of other creative ways to use Art Collector Sets to review and teach about the elements of principles of art. If you have some that you think work well with your students, consider submitting them to ArtsConnectEd so we can share it with all our users!