CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Thursday, February 3, 2011

When to say yes when you want to say no

Two 8th grade boys suffered through my “5 minute demo” (this is the time at the start of class when I introduce a new technique, raise a topic of interest, highlight an artist or art movement or follow-up on issues suggested by previous student work). The two were half listening and half flipping pages in a book at the drawing center.
Twice I asked them to close the book. They couldn’t. The book was too compelling (or at least more compelling than whatever it was I was harping on!) When the class was (finally) invited to begin their work, one of these boys asked if he could take pictures – outside. I said yes – but INSIDE (it was about 15 degrees out). He said “never mind – there’s nothing to take pictures of inside, only people.” He slumped away. Then I made the connection – the book he was interested in was a book of photographs, and he was suddenly inspired to take some Vermont winter shots OUTSIDE.

                                          Photo by "A" - Grade 8
So I reversed my “no” to a “yes” and the two photographers headed out. It was agreed that they would stay on the driveway and in my sight from the art studio windows. They checked back once to ask if they could leave the driveway and go up the hill. “It’s in your line of sight” they informed me.
They returned (partially frozen), downloaded their images and started to manipulate them in iphoto. I’m pretty glad I said yes.

                                               Photo by "A" - 8th grade