Magazine article Arts & Activities

Learning Styles in the Art Room

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Learning Styles in the Art Room

Article excerpt

What learning style works for your art students? Are they visual learners who need to see the information? Perhaps they are auditory learners and need to hear the information. Or, are they tactile/kinesthetic learners who need to move, do or touch in order to learn?

As I looked over my curriculum and lesson plans, I realized almost every art lesson incorporated all of these learning styles. One of my favorite lessons that illustrates this point is a self-portrait collage I teach to my second-graders. In this lesson, the students review the terms "self-portrait" and "collage," but the main goal is to learn that line can show or suggest movement.

We began our visual and auditory exploration of line by reading the book Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold (Dragonfly Books, 1996), and examining and discussing the illustrations within it. The children enjoyed pointing out lines that show or suggest movement.

Our next step in the learning process was to take turns drawing different types of lines on the chalkboard. We talked about how straight vertical and horizontal lines seem to be standing still or taking a nap, and how wavy, curvy and zigzag lines look like they are hopping, running and skipping across the chalkboard.


Once we had drawn lines on the board, it was time for us to get moving. The students stood up, spread out in the art room, and used their arms and hands to demonstrate still lines and lines that showed movement. What a great way to incorporate all of the senses in our study of line!

Now they were ready to use their knowledge about line to create their self-portrait collage. I demonstrated how to tear shapes out of construction paper to create the portrait. An oval works for the head, a rectangle can be a shirt, a square can be a skirt, and thicker rectangles can be turned into shorts or pants. By tearing narrow rectangles, the students can piece together arms and legs in such a way that they look like they are moving. …

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