Looking at Art

When confronted with a work of art, most people do not know what it is that they are supposed to be seeing. Here are some strategies to help students look at works of art.


Learning to Look

Materials

  • Common household or classroom objects
  • Paper
  • Pencils

Procedure

Students are given a set period of time to look at an object. The object is removed. Students are told to draw the object from memory. The exercise is repeated several times to demonstrate how time and concentration can reveal information not seen at first glance.


Learning to Describe

Materials

  • Cloth or plastic opaque drawstring bag
  • Common household or classroom objects

Procedure

Students feel objects inside the bag and are asked to describe them. This activity may be done in small groups or with the entire class. Listening students can be asked to guess the identity of the object on the basis of the description given.


Learning to Ask Questions

Materials

  • Common household or classroom objects

Procedure

Students work in pairs sitting back to back. One student is given an object. The other has ten or twenty questions to find out what that object is. Student one can only give information in response to the questions and may not name the object. The teacher should conduct a follow-up discussion about what types of questions provide the most useful answers.