Posted in Miscellaneous

The “Selfie” Generation

By: Annie Day

Throughout my time at this blog I have focused most of my writing on lesson plans for grades K–3. Today, I would like to discuss one of my favorite lesson plans for grades 4–6. I have found that an important way to engage older students is to incorporate media or use terms related to modern pop culture. This grabs that students’ attention and even gives the teacher some “cool” points. One example where I used this idea goes as follows.

I love art. The problem with teaching about art in the classroom is that students find the old masters a little dull. Because of this issue, I decided to up the participation through using the term “selfie”. You see, from Frida Khalo to Van Gogh, artists love to create self-portraits. Just like any good “selfie” or self-portrait, the subject of the work makes certain rhetorical moves in order to create a beautiful image. By making these connections, students are suddenly interested in the rhetorical moves that Van Gogh used in his self-portrait and they try to incorporate those methods into their own self-portraits or “selfies”. It was a smash hit in the classroom and really got the students interested in art.

Van Gogh's self-portrait painted in 1887.
Van Gogh’s self-portrait painted in 1887. Source: http://www.wikiart.org.
Frida Kahlo's self-portrait painted in 1941.
Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait painted in 1941. Source: http://www.wikiart.org.

This lesson plan brought the class joy and an increased interest in art. Don’t forget to have fun with the students. The more they are able to discuss their own ideas, the more engaged they will be!

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