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!
I was once in Delicious denial; I had heard of Delicious as a social bookmarking site but really didn’t see the need to use it. Sure, sharing bookmarks with everyone else is a nice concept, but I already had spent hours organizing my own bookmarks in Safari and was just fine with my own little system. What I wasn’t willing to admit at the time was that my little system of organized bookmark folders was not very effective.
So what about your organized websites neatly tucked into a bookmark folder? When uploading to Delicious, the folders and sub-folders that you created on your computer will turn into tags – no need to redo anything! See how easy it is to use Delicious in the Tutorial below:
Can’t view video above? Click here.
So here’s where the “social” part of Delicious comes in: If you think a website is useful to others who also read The Teaching Palette, add the tag “teachingpalette” (one word). See the hundreds of art education resources we’ve already tagged here.
- When using compound words such as “art history” do not leave spaces in between each word as they will separate into two different tags. Instead write “arthistory” or “art_history”. (I learned this one the hard way)
- Use “tag options” to change or rename a tag.
- Bulk edit is useful for adding additional tags to large groups of bookmarks or making selected tags on bookmarks private.
- Keep in mind that although your bookmarked website will show up instantly in your Delicious account, sometimes it takes longer for the tags to register.
- Use Delicious as your search engine – type in a tag on the Delicious homepage to see what websites others have bookmarked.
- It never hurts to create a backup of your Delicious bookmarks from time to time. (Backup directions can be accessed when logged in)
Thought I would pass along this article from Science Daily based on the research of learning styles of children. This could prove helpful when developing behavior management systems in your classroom.
The picture to the left shows the areas of the brain involved in cognitive control following positive feedback in children aged 8 to 9.