Thursday, May 28, 2009

Teaching High Schoolers

With the job I have, the typical grades to be taught are kindergarten through 8th grade. However, one of our clients is a continuation high school. I had the opportunity to act as a fill-in for an artist that couldn't finish his session. To get a feel for the school, I used a directed instruction approach that is usually employed by our program. I taught a still life lesson. From there I found that children of this age are quite independent and really have the desire to use their own creativity.
So with the next two lessons (I only had them for three weeks) I aimed to encourage their creativity by not leading them through a lesson. The first assignment was for the students to create a self portrait where they draw themselves the way that they appear in reality (of course this has a lot to do with their self-perception), then a shadow was drawn beside the figure in a way that depicts who they are on the inside, something that may not be noticed by others. I drew a couple of examples to get their ideas going. I told them they could use my ideas but I strongly encouraged them to use their own so that they depict themselves and not me.
The final lesson was a doodling assignment. Students were encouraged to make marks, shapes, lines, shadings, pretty much anything that came to mind on paper with pen or pencil. The only limitations were there was to be no recognizable imagery (non-objective), no lettering, numbers, or symbols, and the drawing activity had to last the duration of the entire period (almost an hour). Not drawing anything recognizable and drawing for the entire period was difficult for many students.
The above drawings represent what we did in class. Unfortunately, I didn't bring a camera for the doodling so I included a couple of my own.

1 comment:

Cecelia said...

Very interesting. I taught for 36 years in Texas public schools. I could have had more, if I had stuck with it. Eveything from little ones through high school.
I'm not familair with your program. I think I enjoyed high school most because of all the activity associated with it, and more preparation of students for the future.
Good luck with your teaching. It's a hard job, but rewarding. I'm amazed to find a lot of my former students on FaceBook, and to learn how their lives are going. And to realize that they remember me and my lessons!