Our first TAB unit is coming to a close. Art 2 finished last week, and Art 1 is just about done. The theme the students were challenged with was MAN/MACHINE. As a class, we talked about what “man” could mean, what “machine” could mean, and what connections/interactions/relationships they could have.
The students were limited to a black and white drawing no smaller than 8X10. We talked about different techniques including hatching, cross-hatching, pointillism, and scratchboard. The students practiced these along with charcoal and using white pencil on black paper.
I couldn’t have asked for a better first theme. The students gave it their all–well, 98% did. They learned so much about the artistic process. Many sketched first before committing to a final drawing. Others went through 2, 3, or even 4 ideas before settling on something. Some even started final works, reflected on what they were doing, weren’t happy, then started over again. Kids researched drawing faces and learned how to draw wood grain. I don’t think my classroom has seen so much independent learning in one artwork in an art 1 class, ever. Art 2 amazed me with their thought processes and choices.
Interpretations were all over the map. Here are just a few.
I have to admit that I was nervous putting them up in the hallway to display. I was nervous that my colleagues would think my students weren’t as talented as in previous years. I wrote a carefully worded email announcing new artwork in the hallway. I always do this because the fine arts hallway is out of the way for many. This time I explained what the students were learning, TAB, and the authentic art making happening in my art room. My worries were not necessary. I received…well the kids received so many complements. In fact, one of my AP’s complemented me on the artwork, the wonderful email, and the exceptional learning going on in my room.