The National Endowment for the Humanities is sponsoring a program called Picturing America. Schools accepted into the program will receive reproductions of 40 famous paintings by American artists that cover a broad spectrum of history and culture for our country. In addition, lesson plans are provided to use the artwork as a launching point for student reflection. I strongly urge all TN DEN members to apply! Just click the link above.
But what about those of us that don’t get accepted? Is there a way for us to participate in a similar program? Of course there is! In fact, I can think of 2 immediately.
First, there are images of famous works of art in the Discovery streaming image catalog. Using the Writing Prompt Builder, teachers can use these images to create a student dialog of reflection.
Second, teachers can upload images of artwork to VoiceThread and have students make written or verbal comments there as well. A nice touch to VoiceThread is the ability to “draw” on the image you comment on. If there is a specific part of the picture students are drawn to, they can demonstrate that by circling it as they comment.
What about you? What ideas do you have for using famous art in the classroom?