This unit of work lasted approximately 10 weeks. Each week the students had one lesson of 1hr and 45 minutes. In this unit the students were to learn a little about about Surrealism, improve their drawing skills, practice reflection, and learn how to describe and analyze. The final assessment pieces were a drawing, with supporting research and planning in their developmental workbooks, a written task, and their ongoing reflections. These diary entries will focus on the written work undertaken by students leading towards their final assessment piece.

Thinking aim

I wanted to see if I could teach the students to analyze by using the thinking approach. I wanted to help them see how to break down paintings into parameters and features, and if they could come up with an algorithm to help them describe, and then compare paintings. I selected these aspects as without being able to look and describe it is impossible to move onto analysis.

Lesson One

Aim - to introduce students to some examples of surrealist paintings and see if they could invent stories to go with the images. This was my formative assessment task.

Prior knowledge - Students had watched a documentary on Salvador Dali, where the focus had been on how he created his paintings.

Description - I handed the students a copy of two paintings ( Soft construction with boiled beans by Salvador Dali, and The lost jockey by Rene Magritte) as a class we discussed what we could see in the first painting, objects, colours, images etc and what they thought the story behind the work might be. They then had to do the same with the second image for homework.

Reflection - The class enjoyed the discussion very much and were suitably grossed out by the first image. They were much more engaged in the classroom, than in their homework tasks. The written work handed in tended to be very short and many aspects of the painting were completely absent from the descriptions. The stories behind were very literal interpretations of what was in the paintings. " There is a man riding and he is lost". There was certainly a lot of scope for improvement.


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