September 2019

Testimony

Art teachers make a personal statement to start the school year and share their mission, teaching philosophy, and more. Students use their imaginations while learning about color theory and symmetry; attribute human characteristics to drawn and collaged robots; envision their future selves in an engaging drawing lesson; collaborate on a 3D cardboard city installation; and more.

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Highlights From This Issue

Editor's Letter
Editor's Letter

Editor's Letter

When I taught preservice classes at the University of North Texas, I required my students to each write and present a mission statement, a kind of testimony to their philosophy of art and art teaching. This was to be presented through a digital format of their choosing, such as animation, film, or other media arts. One purpose of this assignment was to provide meaningful and useful content for their digital portfolios to present when applying for teaching positions.

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Color Symmetry
Early Childhood

Color Symmetry

One of the first early childhood lessons I ever taught as an elementary art teacher became one that I always taught. It combines imagination with simple color theory and bilateral or line symmetry. It also has an engaging “wow” factor – for me, one of the best components of a successful lesson.

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Robot Personifications
Elementary

Robot Personifications

Have you ever wondered if we are learning more from the students we teach than they are learning from us? If we take the time to observe our students, we can see that they are filled with their own ideas, and their natural creativity is just waiting to be unleashed.

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Fold, Cut, Adhere
Elementary

Fold, Cut, Adhere

Students folded their papers and used scissors to cut, rip, or curl until each piece of flat paper turned into a structure that differed greatly from the original. Students enjoyed the idea of turning something simple into a complex and intriguing shape.

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Reflections on the Future
Middle School

Reflections on the Future

How do our thoughts about the past or the future shape our present lives? How can our hopes and dreams cause us to reach toward our best selves? These were the questions I asked myself in designing this absorbing lesson. The process led students on an insightful journey of self-discovery and to deeply satisfying and beautiful outcomes.

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Portrait Triptychs
Middle School

Portrait Triptychs

I’m always on the lookout for a great introductory lesson my ninth-grade media arts students will be excited about. That’s why I was excited when I came across street artist Adde Adesokan while doing an Internet search. Adesokan resides in Germany but travels throughout Europe creating unique, expressive, and sometimes amusing portraits of strangers in a vertical triptych format. I realized that students could do their own take on Adesokan’s triptychs using photos of friends and family members.

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Don't Judge a Box by Its Cover
High School

Don't Judge a Box by Its Cover

For this lesson, students designed the outside of a box to represent how they are perceived by others, and the inside to represent how they know themselves to be. They were encouraged to work symbolically and to incorporate found objects and small items from home to embellish their work.

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Candy Still Life
High School

Candy Still Life

After finishing a unit on value, I wondered how to introduce color while continuing to explore simple forms. Inspiration struck while I was contemplating what to do with leftover Halloween candy. What if, instead of eating the candy, we were to draw it? Here in front of me was the rainbow I was searching for. Each student eagerly chose their favorite treats and got to work!

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Emily Sandagata: Exploring the Spiritual Realm through Mixed Media
Looking & Learning

Emily Sandagata: Exploring the Spiritual Realm through Mixed Media

To see brilliant examples of contemporary mixed media, we need look no further than the artwork of Emily Sandagata. She works in the grey areas between painting, sculpture, textiles, and collage to create unique pieces that include found objects, natural objects, or as she describes them, “forgotten and abandoned things.”

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Why Art Really Matters to Me
Advocacy

Why Art Really Matters to Me

To kick off Youth Art Month last March, NAEA President Kim Definbaugh encouraged members to post photos and stories of Why Art Matters with the tag #VisualArtsEdMatters. I thought about it and realized that the best instruments we have for art advocacy and evidence for the need to protect time and resources in the visual art classrooms are our students themselves. So, as students entered my artroom the next morning, I asked them to each write the reason that art matters to them, personally.

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