Thursday, April 19, 2012

Teachers: Think-Start Your Students!

It takes magic to make one of these composite pictures. The magic of good teaching, and the excitement of learning. (No wands involved. Really.)

Like most complex projects, building a composite drawing requires a great deal of planning, reading, research, a lot of head scratching, and often long weeks of trial and error. If I do my job well, all of that work fades into the background, and the picture appears to have come to life in a single burst of creative inspiration. How did I learn to do it? That’s where the magic comes in...

Real magic happens when teachers find ways to rearrange their students’ brain cells into new and productive patterns, empowering them with effective methods of acquiring, processing, and using information. Students with magical brains take on an entirely new view of the world, and wind up changing that world for the better, every day.

I know. Even when they thought I wasn’t listening, through the years my teachers and professors always found a way to provide the tools I needed to succeed in the classroom, in the clinic, and in the art studio. They’re clever people, these educators. And they’re always on the lookout for new ways to engage their students, to pass along new ideas, and inspire new ways of thinking.

That’s why we have outlined the process of Composite Imagery in a simple set of Lesson Plans, available to teachers everywhere. Art, language arts and science teachers from around the world have used these step-by-step plans to help kids merge words and images in a creative blend of artistic and literary expression. Some have even been kind enough to share the wonderful drawings, essays and poems produced by their students.

The pictures shown above are from Arizona art teacher Carol Rome, whose students live and grow within the wide spectrum of autism. "He looks at things differently, like we do,” Ms. Rome’s classes observed. “Is he Autistic too?"

Could be. (Add that to the long list of explanations for my unusual approach to art.) I am very pleased that these kids have found a connection with my drawing process, and delighted that they have had fun expressing themselves with such remarkable insight and ability.

A copy of our Composite Image Lesson Plans is posted online at the Incredible @rt Department. (An excellent resource for any teacher.)
For additional art lesson plans, and ideas for using puns in creative writing, contact us directly at the DS Art Studio (800) 372-7864, or e-mail:
Gotta go. More stuff to learn!

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful that you are willing to share your brilliant approach to art with others! As a former teacher of children with special needs it has even more meaning. You are the best! Imogene