CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Do Not Feed the Trolls!

Trolls. These are somehow different from the rubbery, silky haired,  irresistibly ugly toys I remember making houses for in the bushes around my grandparent's house one summer. Mine had bright red hair. 
These trolls are different, and from what I gather from other middle school teachers, they are very "in" at the moment. 
8th grade boys started making them several weeks ago - at first it seemed they were doing it specifically to irritate their Language Arts teacher who banned trolls from her classroom. They learned to use the light table, so they could trace troll faces downloaded from web-searches. The trolls got bigger and bigger, until one became a giant mask - a wearable alter-ego of sorts, gleefully worn to Language Arts  class.
The paintings above were made when I was out sick last week - and the artists responsible could hardly wait to get these up on display when I got back- they were almost desperate! They had already mounted them onto cardboard mats, and just needed a place to tack them up. "Pleeeease!" This made me suspicious.
Is there some illicit meaning here I am too square to understand? Are the kids "getting away" with something? Am I being played? I asked a group of educators from around the country last night, during an online conference, and they conferred that trolls are very popular among their middle students too. Is that all there is to it? I wonder...