My grade 9s are kind of my experiment class. We do 4 units in the year (still-life drawing, landscape pastels, painting & graphic design). We’ve just completed the third unit on painting. This unit builds on the previous units and students were required to conduct their own research and experiment in a style they see fit, or inspired by. I decided to give them a choice on whether to paint a landscape or a still life. All worked from a reference photo, but have had to have taken the photo themselves. Students thought of inquiring questions regarding styles/movements/artists as well as techniques regarding paint.
They basically taught themselves and several learnt via YouTube. From this, it led them to conduct a few personal experiments and make choices on how to complete their summative piece. I simply guided from the side and offered simple feedback on their planning doc and whilst painting. An interesting note is that one student said “this is art, we should’ve have to do writing.” This student may be in for a surprise if they continue onto IB Art.
To be honest, some were very derivative of famous artist’s works, but I thought I’d take a step back to see what they would come up with. Most showed a marked improvement over their initial monotone still life painting that was done as a pre-assessment. I think the work was an improvement over last year, but I’m not sure if it was the learning process or individual student talent. Ideally, I’d like to have them create more than one piece, but unfortunately we must plough through : (