Purpose: To give students a launch pad for critiquing the work of peers in art class discussions.
Materials: Blank 3-5 index cards
Write down individual terms from the readings onto the index cards. In the life drawing classes I also use topics from prerequisite classes such as Design Fundamentals and Observational Drawing. I also have a couple of Wild Cards in the deck.
Students hang work on the whiteboard with magnets.
Ask students to pick a card, any card.
Students select one work and discuss the element on their card in relation to that drawing.
Once a drawing has been discussed, it is out of the running to be discussed again. So, by process of elimination the thinking gets harder and students have to figure out how to discuss one of the remaining drawings. Everyone's drawing has a specialized discussion by a peer.
This card trick has really changed the dynamic in class critiques. Students no longer sit tongue-tied or try to figure out what I want them to say. With the card they have a solid clue about what is a relevant and professional topic. Having time to hold on to the card gives students the opportunity to think through the topic and to connect the topic to one or more visual examples in the drawings. One key benefit is that students look more closely at all the drawings to find the strongest examples of the topic on the card.