Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ode to J.P.

One of the coolest things I have done since I have arrived at G.E.C. is being able to write the art program for this semester.
This was quite a creative challenge because I had to: 
a) Develop a lesson that could be taught over all levels of english and art skills.
b) The activity has to be completed in 45 minutes.
c) As all other teachers have to teach this lesson - it had to be something they won't hate me for after teaching it 12 times.

I had a million ideas swirling round in my head but settled on what I thought was a relatively boring subject - Jackson Pollock/Abstract Expressionism - it has worked out to be easy to translate and fun for the kids. My favourite thing about this this lesson is that it forces the children to make their own decisions. The students are really into copying things to get it correct and it seems the process of getting to the final product doesn't matter (last semester they learned about Picasso and you would just get a bunch of "Portrait de Jaqueline de face II" replicas.) But you literally can't copy Jackson Pollock and the students get to express how they feel at the exact moment they apply the paint which is the object of Abstract Expressionism - their paintings will never be wrong. Lesson achieved!
Giving a class of 12 students syringes* and paint is a scary, scary thing and if this class was not approached correctly it could turn into chaos. But I was confident with the right methods the lesson could work smoothly and it has worked out pretty well so far (though I am yet to teach my class of 12 ten year old boys eeeeek!) Ahhh using my degree in even the most minimal way is so satisfying.

*without needles. However the office delivered a box of syringes to the art room with the needles and it was lucky they were spotted before we handed them out! Jeeez!

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