August 31st, 2011

pinhole camera

Classroom Inquisition

Based on the Socratic Semiar I'm making an inquistion game.
First show the video of the 4th graders being lead through socratic questioning about an M.C. Escher print of the Waterfall. 

Questioning in a Socratic Seminar

Next show the Monty Python skit called "Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquistion."

Hang the show of student work.
Then form students into small groups and  hand out inquisitor and inquisition subject cards.
Appoint or ask students to find/elect/appoint an inquisitor within each group

Inquisitor Card

Your job is to ask question and encourage good answers. Ask open ended questions about the art such as the following examples.  Make up your own questions based on the direction the conversation is going.  Probe for deeper answers.

Sample questions:
  • What did you notice in terms of – (Value? Relationships? Space? Edges?)
  • What is the mood of this drawing and why do you think so?
  • Compare these two (or more) drawings.  What  is similar and what is different?
  • Show me ... ? (Balance, Unity, Gradation, Repetition, Contrast, Harmony, Dominance)
  • Ask for differing veiwpoints and perspectives.  Encourage debate and looking back up information in the book Encourage inquisition subjects to observe and analyze design principles and point to evidence of perceptual skills (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain) in the piece.  

Thanks to Jo Taylor for this great illustration of the principles and elements in Design from her great book Watercolor Wisdom.

The inquistion was a success in Observational Drawing.  Students really engaged with each other in groups of 4 students with 1 inquisitor and 3 subjects in each group.

Observational Drawing students using the inquisition cards to critique work displayed with magnets on the whiteboard.

Take away:  Having the cards with prompts helped the subjects to look more closely at the work.  Having set the stage for good humored debate gave the inquisitors confidence in their role.  The inquisitors have the small cards with the picture in the corner such as Quade in the purple shirt.  The subjects have the larger card that has the principles and elements of design as well as Betty Edwards' perceptual skills listed on it.
pinhole camera

Tai chi Fall sessions bargain

I attend several qigong/tai chi classes per week.
Santanu, my teacher at the Austin Kung Fu Academy has really changed my life for the better.  

Santanu is opening up the adult tai chi program to 4 classes a week.  Wow!
The schedule will be Mon & Wed morning  10-11 a.m.  and Tues & Thurs evening 6-7 p.m.
When the new term starts in Sept I'll only be able to go to the Tues evening and Wed morn classes.  Darn.  I'd like to take them all.

I recommend Santanu's program heartily. You'll do lots of qigong and learn simple moves of the yang tai chi form. If you are interested here is a link to a discounted price offered this week.
Tai Chi Classes – 10 classes for $99

Caution:  tai chi can lead to sword painting