Friday, October 1, 2010

Draw Them In

Drawing is fun, and sometimes a distraction. For instance, in those rare moments when we are all seated, I may notice a student doodling while I'm trying to teach other things through theater. I'm being all about experiential learning and whatnot and there they are doodling, not paying attention to me, but to the lines unspooling on the page. Noticing, I say "Hey!" but then I wonder, if they are bored, then perhaps I am being boring? If so, my hurt feelings are not the point. Maybe I should check my ego, and expand my thinking? Maybe I should bring the art of drawing into my teaching practice to increase levels of student engagement. Maybe adding more art processes to the mix will grab their attention and draw them in? The first reason I do not use much visual art practice in my teaching, is that I suspect everyone in the room can probably draw better than me, and, secondly, I have no idea how to talk about or describe the process of drawing. Luckily, I discovered this new series called Line by Line by James Mcmullan in the New York Times, which describes the art and practice of drawing by hand. Serendipity. The first article in the series was about drawing an ellipse, referred to as "the frisbee of art." The most recent piece builds on the first, and describes the process of cross-hatching in great detail.  Just like that, my problem is solved. Now I can practice drawing with students, talk about drawing with students, and I can even use this thoughtful series of articles to get students to read about and reflect on the art of drawing. It's like a lesson plan just fell in my lap.

Line by Line by James McMullan can be found here.

Also: It's Friday, and ATA is on the social network called Facebook. Where are you?

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