Monday, October 03, 2005

A little more about. . .

the copying question. My friend Sarah is an ESL teacher and made an interesting point about having her students memorize a bit of Shakespeare. Anyone interested should read her comment on "the question of copying" post.

The thing is, I have my students once a week for an hour. Given that limited amount of time, the fact that picture studies can take up to 30 min., I'm still pretty uncomfortable with the idea of having my students spend the rest of their limited time copying great works..... even though the conversation I've had with you guys has helped solidify the understanding that "imatatio" does have a valuable place in the study of art. However--here's a new thought---The other day I was reading my Charlotte Mason book and it made this suggestion, one I had never read before in any other description of Picture Study. (I don't know how I missed this before, duh.) It suggested that at the end of a picture study session, have the students sketch from memory the work that was just studied---just with pencil and paper, not a full blown project. The idea would be to "take in" the work even further.....Sarah, I think this relates to your Asher Lev example. However, this would be considered more of an exercise, perhaps lasting 15min. or so. In between such picture studies and exercises, a more creative project would be done--inspired by the artist or even a specific work, but with more creative choices to be made. Interestingly, the book (When Children Love to Learn,) which actually suggests this exercise following a P.S., seems to place more emphasis on creative freedom in art class than a purely classical system would, even making a negative comment about copywork-as-art-project.
Anyway, the other day I tried the sketch-from-memory exercise with the second-graders following their picture study of Madonna and Child. They really seemed to enjoy it. Maybe incorporating this exercise will be a happy medium between respecting the value of the copying tradition and allowing time for creative choices, too.....hopefully one will inform the other.

I don't have my book with me today or I would quote it directly. Maybe next time!

I like the adapted lesson plan - seems like a great way to get the benefits and still engage the kids'imaginations. Yay, J!
yes, i'm very proud of myself. :)
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