In South Dakota all of our classes are required to do some sort of speech or presentation. In the past i have always had my Art 1 students give a presentation about an artist from these three chapters in our books. I used to have all of the questions I wanted them to answer and they just had to fill those in and then also give us a short bio on the artist. They then put that info into powerpoint or prezi and stood in front of us and gave us the bio (which you hope was short and not copied from wikipedia) and the answers to the questions that I had asked.
Sounds fun and full of higher level thinking right? Wrong, it was sooooo boring and I just knew I couldn't handle it another year. Also I had to ask what were they learning. I pretty much had given them everything they needed.
So this year I decided to wipe the slate clean, literally. I took the artists that I wanted them to present about and put them into an empty googledoc. I gave them the artist, title of the work that I wanted them to look up, and the year of that work and the picture of the work. That was it. I had them draw for an artist and they had to then come up with 10 questions about the artist or the work of art that I presented or some sort of combination between the two. I then told them that they could present their info to us in any way that they wanted. Some have created games, some are just going to do a standard powerpoint, some are creating a quick draw and some are making a multiple choice guessing game. I told them to teach us the way they wish I would teach them. Basically I asked them to help me find interesting ways of teaching Art History.
We start presenting tomorrow so I will let you know then how things go. I am excited to see how this works.