Tag Archives: AP Art History

AP Art History – Blogging in the Classroom (an Update)

A few months ago, I posted an article “Using Blogs in Class – AP Art History.” I felt that it was time for a quick update to the project. As with any lesson plan, I’ve modified it over the course of the year. I still find it to be one of the most effective exercises for my students. A quick review, the students are required to choose one image from the most recent chapters we’ve covered (usually they choose from 2-3 chapter sections). No two students may do the same project – the first one to post to the blog has ‘legitimate claim,’ thus they have to check online to see what’s happening. Here are the formal written instructions (changes in bold):

Instructions: Select one image from either Chapter x, y, or z (only one student may do each image, first call first serve).

Written Portion:

  • On the Class Blog Write the Title of the Work, Artist, and Date
  • Write a brief physical description of the image
  • Write a brief description of the image’s historical and social context
  • Minimum 100 words
  • Spelling & Grammar Count
  • Include a brief Works Cited at the end (MLA format), you should include at least 2 sources (including your textbook)
  • Be sure to put your name in the Tag

Oral Portion:

  • One Power Point Slide
  • Include a copy of the image
  • Include the Title of the Work, Artist, and Date
  • Indicate five principles of design, at least three most from the assigned chapter reading.
  • Prepare a two minute (minimum) discussion of the piece, its significance, and its history (this information should not be written on the slide).
  • Save the PowerPoint in DropBox at TVS Art History Share –> Student Projects –> Project 2.Last Name.ppt

As you can see, the biggest changes that I have made are requiring that they use five principals of design (not just three) and that three of those most come from the chapter, to reemphasize new vocabulary. Now, it’s Spring Semester so some of my Senior have gotten a bit of “Senioritis” but overall, they’re still putting forward some great work. Again, I reemphasize the usefulness of DropBox as a tool here for the students to all store and have access to the work – when the AP test rolls around, I hope that they will use these slides as a set of ‘flash-cards’. Here is what their shared folder looks like:

They also have the opportunity to meaningfully comment on another students work to earn a few extra credit points. Here are some examples of their latest work:

Field Trip Experiment – Kids Using Google Goggles at the Museum

Recently, my AP Art History kids and I took a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. I decided that it would be a great opportunity for the students to play with Google Goggles – we could see how it works in practice and I could bug my students for input on the best ways to employ this tool for school. If you’re not familiar with Google Goggles, check out this video below:

I gave them the opportunity to earn extra credit and encouraged those without Smart Phones to share. I gave them the assignment to use Google Goggles on a minimum of two (2) pieces (they could do more if they wanted) and to answer the following questions:

Were the results quick? 

Were the results accurate? 

Does the information appear thorough?

What type of resources does Google locate? 

Does it solely return secondary resources or primary as well? 

Any other observations of note?

I also encouraged them to include pieces that did *not* pull up on on Google Goggles, as we want to see its breadth. The students were eager to use the tools on the trip – borrowing each other’s and even my own phone to try it out. We noticed some stark differences between sculpture and paintings, as well as Modern Art and “Classical.” Sculpture would often not pull up, unless you took the photo from a very specific angle (and even then, you had to take two or three pictures). Paintings were more readily able to be found via Google Image search – the exception being Modern Art with more saturated colors (such as a Rothko). As per usual, I was thoroughly impress with what my students produced.

Here are a few examples of their findings (some with pictures):

Overall, the students found Google Goggles easy (and even fun) to use. However, it does need some further development. Still, they almost universally told me that they would be using it on all future museum visits to learn more about the art around them. One also mentioned that she would be going to Europe with her family during Spring Break and that she planned on giving it a whirl in Italy with the monuments.

Update – Using a Class Blog in AP Art History

I previously posted about using a class blog in conjunction with DropBox to do bi-monthly visual projects in AP Art History. You can read about them here: “Using Blogs in Class – AP Art History” and “DropBox – An Excellent and *Free* Resource for Educators.” This week, my students presented their second version of the project. They continue to impress me as they develop and hone their critical writing skills and ability to view and analyze Art. I am very happy with how this project has been developing for several reasons: it is a repository of visual information for the students to develop their image catalogue, they share information and further research on objects, it provides them regular and reviewed practice in analyzing and writing about Art, they are practicing their public speaking skills, and they are learning to read and constructively analyze their peers’ work.

Here are the instructions for the project itself:

For extra credit, I allow them to comment meaningfully on one-another’s stories. It encourages them to read each other’s work and to think about it seriously.

Here is an example of some of their phenomenal work this week.