One of the highlights of the 5th grade art curriculum is our trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. While at the museum the students become art docents, presenting researched information to their peers while standing next to the original work of art. Prior to our trip, the students spend six class periods working in collaborative groups researching one of eight artists and prepare their information for presentation at the Art Institute of Chicago. This past year was especially exciting since we had access to iPads as our presentation tool instead of just reading from a typewritten report as we have in the past. Keynote was used on the iPads to display images of the artist, other artist works on display in other museums, and even show video footage such as Monet in his garden or reference Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The success of this learning experience is dependent on careful attention to detail. But believe me, it is well worth all the effort! Here’s a look into how I organize this great learning experience:
1. Painting assignment: I start by showing my students eight different paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago and briefly share a couple of details about each. (*Note: paintings chosen based on availability of research material appropriate for 5th grade.) Students then rank their favorite painting based on the one they are most interested in learning about. (Tip: use a different color paper for each class to stay organized.) Next, I go through and sort the completed rankings by preference and create research groups of 2, 3 or 4 students. After lots of shuffling, I have close to equal numbers of students researching each of the eight paintings. For example, of the eighty students in 5th grade, I had ten students researching eight different artists.
2. Begin research: Although I have a variety of books on each artist for student reference, most of the research is done online. Instead of setting the students free to roam the Internet, I have gathered quality and age appropriate multimedia resources into Livebinder for students to access.
The students are asked to work together gathering basic artist information. Research roles are assigned to engage all the students in the collaborative learning process: information recorder, word definition researcher, fact checker, and group progress monitor. Students are encouraged to find and record only useful information – content important for understanding or something others would find interesting to learn.
3. Presentation Creation: Since the iPads at my school are shared across grade levels, I have my students use Keynote on a Mac to create their presentation before loading onto an iPad. (This can also be done using PowerPoint that is easily converted to a Keynote on the iPad).
Essential Keynote requirements:
Each Keynote must include full screen images of the artist and/or artwork not found at the Art Institute of Chicago. (A great resource for finding images is Wikipaintings.) The presentations must also include accurate information about the artist, the painting featured, and concluding open-ended questions for the audience. (See student checklist here) Here are a few finished student examples in Keynote:
4. Museum Preparation: You will need to separate students into new groups for the museum. For example, a research group of three students learning about Picasso at school will all be split up into three different museum groups. In the end, each museum chaperoned group will have all researched artists represented . . . one student representing Picasso, one student Monet, O’Keeffe, Cassatt, etc . . .
Next, find out exact room location of paintings and prepare a rotation map for each group.
5. iPad Preparation: Upload all student Keynotes to a wiki or Dropbox. You will need one iPad per museum chaperoned group. In my case, I had 10 iPads (10 groups of 8 students). Just use iPad to link to your Dropbox or Wiki, then click on each Keynote to load onto iPads. (Tip: Students should save Keynote with all group member names to make it easy to find correct Keynote to upload)
6. On location! Students rotate throughout museum taking turns presenting at each painting along the map route. For example, group #3 starts at location #3 and then moves in rotation order. I usually add in a few fun stops along the way if there are fewer artists studied than museum chaperoned groups (such as the Thorne Miniature Rooms or a St. George and the Dragon activity)
Check out the video overview to see what our experience looked like:
Since the Keynotes were uploaded online, I just had to share the link so the students could download it at home and share with family. I have even had former students return and tell me that they visited “their painting” over the summer loved feeling so smart as they discussed it. I can’t wait to do this project again!
We know we are not alone when we say “We love Google Art Project!” This amazing multimedia tool takes some of the most revered works of art to a new level. So, now that we have a grasp on the navigation, we wanted to present a few ideas on how to incorporate this fantastic resource into your curriculum. Not sure how Google Art Project works? Watch the video below:
Create a detail detective game. Use the amazing detail found using the zoom feature and take few quick screen-shots. Have your students match your detail to the correct location on the artwork. Learn more in this earlier post.
Integrate into other online media. The first of the three “Bedroom” paintings created by Vincent VanGogh is featured in Google Art Project. See an example on how these Bedroom paintings are used in a Livebinder format.
Create an art scavenger hunt. Present a series of clues about a work of art featured by Google Art Project. Here’s an example (see if you can figure it out): Start at the Google Art Project home page. Clue 1. Painting is located in Spain. Clue 2. Created in a Cubist art style. Clue 3. Contains a musical instrument. Clue 4. Uses a neutral color scheme. Clue 5. Signed artwork in the lower left corner (Click here for the answer.)
Explore Perspective. The zoom feature enables you to reach deep into a picture and see items otherwise missed. Does the artwork follow the rules of perspective? A few examples include Young Knight in a Landscape and Mary Enthroned with the Child.
Discuss copyright and fair use. Older students can tackle copyright and fair use issues in our digital culture. Here are some resources to get you started: Columbia University, BlackBook, Curator the Museum Journal, The Official Google Blog.
Use Google Maps to Explore Google Art. See a thumbnail view the exact location of each museum in Google Maps while exploring the artwork room by room.
Compare and Contrast. Easily toggle between works or art using the collections feature. Compare by genre, media, or artist.
Integrate writing. Ask students to reflect on how viewing artwork in the context of a museum or with increased detail impacts their opinions about a work of art. Students can write out ideas and share with the class or use a Google Form for idea collection. See an earlier post on how to create your own Google Form.
Create a Picture Book. Get inspired by Istvan Banyai’s picture book Zoom. Create your own picture book by printing detail images in a series that zooms out from an unexpected perspective. You can click here to see an example of an art collection zooming out. You can also create a group problem solving and communication activity by giving each student one picture. Then have students try to organize images from most zoomed in to most zoomed out by using only words to describe their picture. Click here for activity details and an example using the Zoom books.
How do you plan to use Google Art Project with your students? Share your ideas in the comments area below.
Update 4/3/12 See the Art Lesson Plan from art teacher, Holly Bess Kincaid who was featured NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.
Target is sponsoring free and reduced-price arts and cultural events all over the nation for July 17 & 18. Take your family and visit great institutions such as the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or Mesa Arts Center in Phoenix. You can see what events and museums are participating in your area by visiting Targets website.
Art museum visits and art history discussions can be great learning opportunities for students. However, it just takes a few negative student attitudes to change the experience for the entire class. The following Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) video addresses many art conversations and museum etiquette issues in an entertaining format directed at tweens and teens.
Can’t view YouTube video above? See it at the AIC website.
Possible Discussion Questions:
1. What did you learn about visiting a museum that you didn’t know before?
2. Why might each artwork have different meanings to different people?
3. What type of art do you like best? Why?
Since the launch of the iTunes App Store in July 2008, over 1 billion apps have been downloaded for use on the iTouch and iPhone. Currently, the App Store has 63,000 apps to choose from and it is no surprise that many of the iPhone/iTouch applications have educational value. Over the last few weeks, we sorted through our favorites to create The Teaching Palette’s Best Apps for Art Teachers, along with some tips and suggested uses.
- Love Art-Natl Gallery London This is an absolutely beautiful museum app that integrates audio and video presentations based on the collections in the museum. A great learning tool containing snapshots of a wide range of art history.
- Brushes Familiar with the New Yorker Cover that was created using an iPhone app? It was created with the Brushes painting app and tops our list. Easy to use beginning with the very young. Watch a speed portrait here.
- TypeDrawing Draw with text. This fun app uses a single letter or phrase as the drawing tool. A completely new way of drawing (and thinking about drawing). See some examples in this Flickr pool.
- TanZen Familiar with Tangrams? This app combines math and art concepts together. Move, rotate, and flip shapes to form a larger image. Great for improving spatial intelligence.
- Art (Lite version) This art history game features five famous artists. Can you identify which artist created each work of art? Master this app, then upgrade to the paid version of Art. Another nice feature of this app is the option to load images into your photo gallery for use in other applications.
- Art2Go This app is an engaging and useful presentation of 19th and early 20th century artists and their work using audio commentary. Useful for all grade levels and art backgrounds.
- Color Splash This is an extremely simple app to use with some amazing effects. Teach the principle of emphasis by isolating a single image in color while the remainder of the photograph stands in black and white. See how easy this app is to use in this video tutorial.
- Animoto Near identical to the traditional web-based version, Animoto coordinates your images to the beat of music. Great for artist presentations or student portfolios. Completed presentations can be downloaded or emailed.
- FlipBook (Lite version) This is one of the best animation apps available. Features allow for replication of images and transparency effects to see previous slide. Click here for a guided tour of the app.
- PixPop Art – This is a challenging and very fun detail detective game. Utilizing fine art, detail images line the right side of the screen while you search for the match. Work in competition mode timing yourself or work at your own pace in Zen mode.
- 3D gallery Be a curator of your own museum. Enter this 3-D room and rearrange the paintings or choose your own images from photo gallery. This would be a great tool to display artwork created throughout the year or to focus on an art time period or genre. Note: There is currently no “save” feature, but if you click your on/off button at the same time as the menu button, you can create a screenshot that saves in photos on the camera roll.
- Comic Touch (Lite version) Add some humor to art historical images or commentary to student artwork with this single pane comic creator. Save to photo library or email. Upgrade to the paid version of Comic Touch and get interesting special effects and fonts. Watch an intro video here.
- Life Strips This is a great tool for creating comic strips. Utilizes a wide variety of comic strip templates and speech bubbles. Add photos and utilize filters to for adding special effects. Even add a Google map!
- Light Painting Have you ever created a photographic light painting? While standard flashlights and LED lights work fine, this app offers additional light features otherwise hard to replicate. Use these tips and tricks to get started.
- Open Culture - Find a nice group of audio and video podcasts from well known art museums in the “ideas and culture” category. The same category also contains animated New Yorker cartoons.
- AP Mobile Create a search for “Art” and get the latest news articles from around the world. Useful app for older students to reflect on culture and current events.
- Jazz Sculptor Utilize a wide variety of virtual materials and textures to carve a sculpture from a variety of forms. Rotate image to view at a 360 degree angle. Nice exercise to understand the subtractive carving process. See the Jazz Sculptor gallery for inspiration.
- ScuptMaster3D Create three-dimensional art using a variety of colors with this virtual material that appears inspired by Henry Moore. Great way to introduce and reinforce positive and negative space concepts. View this video tutorial for an overview.
- Architect Envi Deluxe – This app organizes architecture by building name, architect, or century created. It is presented in a slide-show format with the option to learn more about the building and save in the camera roll for use/manipulation in other applications. Yet, the best feature of this app is the option to view each architectural structure in Google Maps.
- Color Sudoku Forget the numbers – this is Sudoku in color! Game has a different levels of difficulty and color schemes.
- Eyetricks This app has a nice collection of optical illusions. Good for early finishers or as intro to an OP Art unit.
- Color Wheel -This color wheel uses advanced color theory concepts to reinforce color understanding. Useful interactive app for older students.
- Brooklyn Museum Tour the collection of art at the Brooklyn Museum. ”Randomize” is a nice feature to view artwork you might otherwise miss.
- Symmetry Useful tool for teaching symmetry to younger students. Watch this video for a quick demo.
- MovieMaker This is a great tool for creating stop-motion animations and time-lapse movies. Since it requires the camera on an iPhone, this app is perhaps most useful as an extension for students who have access to iPhone technology.
- PotteryWheel While this is certainly not a a replacement for the hands-on wheel throwing experience, this pottery wheel gives the basic idea of the cause and effect.
- Artist’s Touch This app requires little artistic talent but is useful when teaching about abstract art. Non-objective to representational- reveal your image using a variety of textures and paint tools. Be sure to watch video tutorial to get started.
- Google Earth This is a great app to integrate geographic locations of artists or cultures. Watch this video tutorial to get started.
- Gallery of Painters Contains a large collection of artists that can be searched alphabetically, by century, or nationality. View basic information or link directly to Wikipedia for detail information. Useful for research.
- Juxtaposer and Juxtaposer Lite This is a fun tool for teaching about Surrealism. Reinforce juxtaposition by taking a photo of your classroom and a selecting objects from a second photo to create a Magritte-like composition. Watch this video review to see what this app can do.
Ok . . so now what? Here are some additional tips and considerations to start using the apps:
- Not all the apps are free, but once purchased, an app can be used on multiple iTouch’s with no additional charge.
- Most schools do not have access to multiple iTouch’s (yet). But even just one iTouch can be used as an extension for an early finisher or projected on a screen for the entire class to view using a document camera.
- Some students may have access to a personal iTouch or even a parent’s iPhone. Create a recommended app list for these students to try out at home. You could even tie it into an extra credit option.
- Use it yourself to create your own art or brush up on art history.
- Find useful tips, reviews, and connect with other educators using apps in education at IEAR.org
What are your favorite apps for art education?