Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Philosophy of Art Education

An education in the arts should stimulate imagination, creativity, and acceptance of perspectives we may not understand. Students should be able to construct knowledge in an environment that promotes exploration and discovery. Art can strengthen learning in all subjects. Integration of other subjects into the art curriculum benefits students because we learn through different processes. Art allows for different approaches in learning methods and can challenge us to think in different terms.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Power of Imagination

How powerful is your imagination? Do you think you could let your imagination get the best of you? If you watch a scary movie do you believe or fear that the events could happen to you?

The night before Halloween, October 30, 1938, Orson Welles and the cast of the Mercury Radio Theater on the Air were waiting to begin their broadcast. Unfortunately for the American public they were unaware that this broadcast would be an elaborate hoax. The broadcast was an adaptation of H.G. Well’s The War of the Worlds.

Orson Welles's War of the Worlds record

Background of H.G Wells’s The War of the Worlds

H.G. Wells is best known for his science fiction novels such as The Invisible Man, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Time Machine, and The War of the Worlds.
The War of the Worlds tells the story of an alien invasion to the planet Earth. The aliens invade Earth because their own resources have been exhausted. They set down in the English countryside and sweep through destroying everything in their path. Humans seem unable to stop or defeat the alien invaders or specifically the Martians. It is only in the end of the book that the Martians succumb to a common germ.

There are many theories on what inspired Wells to write this book. Here are two links that discuss such criticisms:

Study Guide for H.G. Wells: The War of the Worlds (1898):

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (words on us):

The War of the Worlds Book Cover Collection :

Alien tripod illustration by Alvim Corréa, from the 1906 French edition of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds".

The Broadcast

The evening of October 30, 1938 millions of Americans tuned in to The Mercury Theater on the Air to listen to a radio broadcast. The Mercury Theater on the Air often broadcasted plays. Orson Welles often directed and even starred in some of them. This particular evening they did a version of H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds. Orson Welles adapted it to make it more modern and also made one crucial change, it would reflect a news broadcast about Mars invading the planet.

At the beginning of the broadcast it is stated that this was a play or fictious. Unfortunately if you were not paying attention or tuned in later you could have missed this important announcement. The broadcast continued with dance music playing and then a series of important news bulletins interrupted the music. The first news bulletin stated that a strange explosion occurred on the planet Mars. Then the music would continue. Then more interruptions, one by Professor Pearson, played by Orson Welles, discussing some scientific facts about Mars and that a meteorite had landed in Princeton, New Jersey. The announcer stated that soon there would be a report from an on scene reporter. The reporter described that the meteorite was explained as a metal cylinder and that when it opened up strange creatures had emerged. The creatures began killing people and an explosion is heard and the connection is lost.

Photo of Orson Welles

As the American public tuned in and listened to the broadcast they actually thought the events on air were true and actually happening. People began packing their belongings, gathering their loved ones and hitting the road. Others hid in cellars, took arms, and prayed. The American public did not realize that they had fallen for an elaborate well -executed hoax.
News of the public panic was broadcast via an actual news broadcast. This caused an even bigger out cry as people phoned in to government officials to regulate radio broadcasting so that this could never happen again.

Broadcast of The War of the Worlds. This is only the first nine minutes but the rest of the broadcast can be found on www.youtube.com:

YouTube Orson Welles War of the Worlds (part 1):

The Mercury Theater on the Air:

War of the Worlds eComic:

Newspaper cover

War of the Worlds Lesson Plan

Grade: 8th Grade

Knowledge: The students learn about radio broadcasts as a form of entertainment and the power of imagination.
Skills: The students learn how to draw an illustration by listening to the radio broadcast of The World of the Worlds.
Attitude: The students appreciate listening to broadcast and interpreting what they hear into an illustration.

Prior Knowledge: None Required.

Prepare Ahead: The teacher should have a copy of The War of the Worlds broadcast by The Mercury Theater on the Air. The teacher should also supply notebook paper in case students want to write down ideas for their illustrations.

Visual Aides: Illustrations of The War of the Worlds

Exemplars: The teacher should have their own illustration.

Supplies: White paper, colored pencils, markers, pencils, erasers, notebook paper, audio device, a copy of the broadcast of The War of the Worlds.

Standards: Content Standard 1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes. Content Standard 3. Choosing and evaluating a range of a subject matter, symbols, and ideas. Content Standard 5. Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others. Content Standard 6. Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines.

Questions Leading to Discovery: Start the lesson off by explaining to the students that in the 1930’s people would gather around the radio to listen to broadcasts as a form of entertainment. No televisions, no DVD players, game consoles, or computers were invented yet. Ask the students if they could imagine living in a world with no such entertainment. Next explain that what you are about to play is The War of the Worlds radio broadcast. At the time that it aired it caused great panic in the American public and that they actually believed that this was really happening. Ask the students if they think that they could fall for such a hoax.

Activity: The students will listen to the broadcast of The War of the Worlds. They will take notes while listening to aide in their ideas for their illustrations. They will create an illustration based off of the radio broadcast.

Reflection: The students will critique each other’s work. They will guess what scene each illustration is from.

Evaluation: The lesson is successful when the students can demonstrate listening skills by creating an illustration of The War of the Worlds.

Studio Activity

You can create your own illustration of The War of the Worlds. To hear the broadcast from The Mercury Theater on the Air you can go to the website which I will put another link here: http://www.mercurytheatre.info
Listen to the broadcast, take notes if needed. Grab some paper, and illustrate a scene from the broadcast. You can make it in black & white or add color to it. Now go turn off the t.v., computer, gaming system, and/or ipod!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Virtual Museum

Retrieved from http://www.pixelmuseum.com/img/pixel-entry/pixel-museum.gif

Virtual Museum WebQuest


Imagine if you could create your own museum, what would you choose to display in it? How would you arrange each room to best present the items? What would you call your museum?

Think about different museums that you have visited. In each room you enter, how do the items relate to one another? How does the layout of the museum benefit the experience? Are the items displayed from the past to the present or mixed together? Has your museum visit created an aesthetic experience?

Now think about museum websites, how are they different from going to the museum?


In this WebQuest your team will create a virtual museum. Your team will choose what items to display. Your team’s virtual museum could be an art museum, Each team will collaboratively design a webpage displaying the objects representing your virtual museum. Your team will consist of:

Photographer. The photographer will photograph the items that are selected to be on display in your virtual museum. If your team chooses to showcase items from the internet, rather then actual objects the photographer is responsible for locating such objects and will be responsible in creating the “Images Cited” section.

Curator. The curator is responsible for the layout of the webpage for your team’s virtual museum. The curator will make choices on what images will be displayed and what images to link. They are responsible for the overall look and flow of the virtual museum.

Cataloguer. The cataloguer is responsible for cataloguing every object in you team’s virtual museum and providing a section on the webpage that displays an overview of each object organized by topic, i.e. paintings. They will also be responsible for providing the descriptive information on each object, as well as a summary on each topic.

Each team member will choose a job. Your team as a whole, is responsible for selecting the name of your museum, make sure it represents the objects that are on display. The name can be as creative as you want it to be. It does not simply have to be “The Museum of _______.”


Step 1
Students will break off into teams of three. Each member will choose a job described above. Once teams have been made, you will be allotted time to brainstorm ideas. Think about what you want your museum to display. Your team must submit a proposal including students’ names, museum title, and what your museum is about. In addition you must give a rationale for why you chose this topic for your museum.

Step 2
Each team member is responsible to visit links provided on this WebQuest. After viewing each link, write a paragraph in Microsoft Word reflecting on each site visited. In your word document make sure to title each reflection with the title of the web page you are reflecting on. If you would like to use images in your reflections make sure you cite the source, however images are not required. Although reflections are personal make sure that you have written complete sentences and use spell check.

This webpage outlines legal issues when creating a web site. Review the topics covered and write your reflection. These are important issues to be aware of when creating your virtual museums.

Here are examples of virtual museums. Note all of the different kinds of museums there are. Make sure to write your reflection on each virtual museum you visit. Provide the title of the virtual museums you have visited along with a brief reflection. You must look at a minimum of three virtual museums. Were any of these sites helpful in building your own museum?

Step 3
Teams will begin to create their virtual museum using PowerPoint.

Provided below are websites that can aide in constructing your virtual museum once you have either
used the template provided in class or created your own template. The template is also provided on our class blog (link to be inserted).

This is a video on how to make a virtual museum template using PowerPoint. Remember to turn up the volume on your computer so you can hear the directions. Note: This process will be reviewed in class, but this video can be accessed from your home to aide in constructing your museums.
Building A Virtual Museum Room

Curious about how to add images to your PowerPoint? Click here to learn about it!

This is a website on how to create a nonlinear PowerPoint with hyperlinks. This will determine how people will navigate through your virtual museum.


Congratulations on creating your own virtual museum! Each team's virtual museum will be uploaded onto our art class blog (insert link to blog here).


Each team will submit individual assessments critiquing everyone’s participation in creating their team’s virtual museum. Be honest about your work as well as your teammate’s participation. How well did your team work together?

Each team will also take a tour through the other teams’ virtual museums. Everyone will fill out a form critiquing the virtual museums. Questions to ask yourself when viewing the virtual museum:

- How did the layout of the virtual museum flow?
- Were the images cited properly?
- Did the information provided with the objects aide in their presentation?


Each team member will be graded on:

- fulfillment of job (curator, photographer, or cataloger)
- reflections
- participation

Each team will be graded on:

- group participation (team work)
- appearance of virtual museum
- information provided with the objects
- content of virtual museum
- proper citations


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wish You Were Here Lesson Plan

Grade Level: 8th

Title: Wish You Were Here

Brief History and Background: Postcards showcase places that people have visited and are sent to loved ones/ friends to show where the sender has been. Postcards can convey emotions but what can happen when students strive to make a postcard of their home and try to push the postcards over the edge by making images that can express the senses? How can an image of one’s place convey sound, emotion, and or something that you can feel?

Standards: NETS 1.a. b. 4. a. b. c. d. 5. a. b. c. d. 6. a. b. c. d.

Goal: The lesson is successful when students have completed the postcard project.

The students learn about themselves by depicting their home. They learn to push their artwork over the edge by trying to incorporate the senses.

The students learn how to set up a composition that displays their home and how they think of it. They learn how to select images that convey meaning through the senses.

The students learn to appreciate their home and the power of the image.

Resource Materials/Visual Aides: Teacher’s exemplar. Mark Mothersbaugh’s Postcards from his Postcard Diaries series.

Supplies/Materials: Computer, scanner, camera.

Teacher Preparation: I will gather the necessary materials needed.

Introduction: Discuss the idea of postcards. What is there purpose? Now introduce the project. State that we will make a postcard of our home. Students should pick a feature of their home that displays the feeling or essence of their home. What do they think of when they think of their home? Show exemplar describe the meaning of your postcard. Ask students to think about what interests them and how it can be incorporated into their postcard to express a certain sense, e.g. music, can the students get a sense of music when looking at exemplar?

Directions: Students will be instructed to take photos of their home or bring in images that represent their home. They will upload or scan images into the computer and using photoshop manipulate the images and construct a successful composition.

Critique/Evaluation/Assessment: Once the project is successful students will display their work. The class will critique each other’s work. What senses are conveyed in the work? Does the composition work?

Time Budget: Students will be allowed one night at home to take photos. Students will then work in the art classroom for two periods. The final half of the second session will end in the critique.

Bibliography References: Retrieved September 27, 2008 from

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ruby Red Slippers Lesson Plan

Grade: K- 1

Title: Ruby Red Slippers

Objective: Knowledge: The students learn that there are many different shades of red. They learn that shoes can become sculptural.

Skill: The students learn how to mix various shades of red. They learn how to explore sculpture elements.

Attitude: The students learn to appreciate the color red and creating sculpture from shoes.

Prepare Ahead: Go to a thrift store and buy kids' shoes, gesso them. Make Ruby Red Slipper Money. Have the Wizard of Oz clip ready.

Motivation: Questions Leading to Discovery: Explain to the children they are going to see a clip from a movie about famous red shoes. Show the clip, now explain that they will be going to the "Ruby Red Slipper Shoe Store" to create their own ruby red slippers. For fair distribution of shoes, I created "Ruby Red Slipper Shoe Store" by placing a pair of shoes at each seat. Explain to the children that this is a magical shoe store where each customer will be given one ruby red slipper dollar. This dollar will allow them to purchase a pair of shoes. They will walk around the store and when they have found a pair they like they will seat down at that spot. The number of customers in the store is up to the teacher.

Demonstration: Have a pair of gessoed kids' shoes ready as well as a red palette. The palette consists of cadmium red medium, cadmium red maroon, white, and black paint. Begin mixing different shades of red. Explain that you are exploring all the possibilities of the color red. Begin to apply the paint to the shoes. Explain that the next class time they will have a chance to add different materials to the shoes.

Visual Aides: Movie clip from the Wizard of Oz.

Activity: The students will make ruby red slippers by painting hem various shades of red. Once the paint has dried they can add various materials to the shoes, which should be different shades of red. Finally they will add glitter to the shoes.

Supplies: Gessoed kid's shoes, cadmium red medium, cadmium red maroon, black, and white paint, cups of water, paint brushes, glue, hot glue gun, jewels, feathers, ribbons, fabric, paper, string, glitter, and scissors.

Closure: Ask the children where their magical ruby red slippers will take them. If they could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ask them how many shades of red they created.

NAEA Standards: Content Standards 1 Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes. Content Standard 2 Using knowledge of structures and functions. Content Standard 5 Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others.

Assessment/Evaluation: The lesson is successful when the students have created sculptural ruby red slippers by mixing various shades of red and applying various materials to the shoes.

Interdisciplinary Connection: Have students write where their ruby red slippers could take them.