Randy, I'll be interested in seeing what answers you get on this post. When you say "I am trying to get my students to talk to each other, and use writing as the starting point, not a norm in art rooms." I know exactly where you're coming from. Difficult task! I remember way, way, way back when New York State instituted its one year fine arts requirement for high school graduation. I was overjoyed. It was also the first time I saw "A" track students in my art classroom. I had no experience with "book" learners. It was difficult, and it took me awhile to modify instruction. (And yes, in the school I taught, students at that time were called A - Track, B- Track, and C - Track...hard to imagine now.)
I do not have specific information on art and writing, I can speak to the idea of a Middle School science department supporting writing standards.
My science department created a department wide rubric for student "lab reports." This rubric includes such Language Art content areas as:
- Uses complete sentences
- Create an "If...then..." hypothesis that attempts to answer the problem you will work on
- Employs appropriate punctuation
- Use evidence to explain the level of support it gives your hypothesis
As students work on their lab reports, we focus on at least one of these rubric areas and give responses back relating to how the student applied or did not apply the requirement in his/her lab report.
We often ask students to include illustrations of what they observe in experiments. How do you see science collaborating with and supporting the art classroom in this way?
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Here is a good thread What about the Arts?. There are several good links to websites and resources. One is where students create blogs to discuss various art work and projects and another one is where high school orchestra students are presented with a prompt for discussions about interpretation: http://www.ted.com/talks/benjamin_zander_on_music_and_passion.html
Another idea is to have the students help come up with the evaluation criteria. They can ofter think of assessment areas that you may forget. It could be a collaboration effort.
Hope this helps
Artists who show their work often are evaluated rather formally by critics! I wonder if your students could do a "show" (I used to cover all the walls of my first-grade classroom with black butcher paper during the last week of school. I removed all of the furniture and covered some large boxes for pedestals, upon which art was displayed around the floor.) Each student could serve as a particular type of critic: pastels critic, composition critic, ceramics critic, etc. They could use a rubric to evaluate the works, then create short write-ups based on their rubric review of the works.
You could then use a separate rubric to evaluate their critiques...
Though my idea was a large-scale effort, you could practice at various times throughout the year with students learning how to evaluate, how to write-up a review, and how to receive criticism from peers.
What do you think?
This blog has some great art teacher ideas. See the ideas on using crayons to meet standards at:
Scroll down in her blog to see the link to the art work in The Awesome Book, and a little bit farther down, see the link to the photostory video her kindergarten art classes did after she read the book Flotsam, by David Wiesner.
This program is used on the web and does not require that children install software, yet it allows you to save their “paintings,” print their work, then clear the screen to draw again. Use the brush, pencil or shapes and the “color slider” to choose the elements of the drawing. Fun to play with:
"Students can draw, paint, create, write and publish pages without installing any software. CANVASTIC DOT NET is designed to be simple, fast, fun and useful."