Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Community Based Art Education

No matter where I've lived I've always taught community based art education with my students. This is a lesson from a school wide unit on Arts in Las Vegas. For this project I asked my students to create a new Welcome to Las Vegas sign for visitors to see on the strip. I did this project with my fourth grade classes and to get the "brain juices" flowing I asked them what their favorite place in Las Vegas is. I got a lot of responses with regards to the strip (Circus Circus, Adventuredome, Grand Canyon Experience, Mandalay bay Shark Reef), some were nation wide chains like Mcdonalds (which I would not allow), and then I started pushing them further. I asked them what their favorite restaurants were, what they do outside, what they do on the weekends. Through those questions I got many ideas that only locals in this area would know and would add diversity to the assignment. I showed them step by step how to measure the sign out on their paper (I could have made copies of the shape, but i thought they would learn more this way). Then they decorated their sign and drew a corresponding background, filled it in with color pencils. This one is my favorite so far. While it is the strip, the composition has a lot of information and is dynamic.

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