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ERIC Number: EJ871995
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
Hands-On Writing: An Alternative Approach to Understanding Art
Barnes, Natalie Selden
Art Education, v62 n3 p40-46 May 2009
Art is visual literacy, some would say more basic than writing and speaking, because it is not hampered by the barrier of language. The process of creating a visual narrative and understanding visual literacy is multi-faceted. Because similar cognitive strategies are used in the practice of both visual and written literacy, incorporation of authentic writing activities not only strengthens students' writing abilities, but reinforces the basic art curriculum as well. There are a number of routine activities that help students explore the "why" in art. Sketching initial ideas, formative critiques, peer evaluation, guided critiques, artist statements, and sketchbooks are all strategies that help the student artist reflect on his/her ideas and create meaning through their own works. Activities associated with literacy require students to organize their thoughts for further communication. Numerous other instructional activities such as art history reports, skits, historical timelines, exhibition notes, storyboarding, exit cards, journal entries, writing directions, and critique questions are all examples of literacy-based activities that should be included when identifying behaviors that provide literacy accountability in the art classroom. This article describes a pre-writing activity which is a variation of a process that takes place in many K-12 art rooms on a regular basis. Although the procedure was originally designed as a way to gather information necessary to triangulate the final data, the resulting conversations and interactions between students helped the author realize that while this process involved both writing and pre-writing activities, it was more about art viewing than writing.
National Art Education Association. 1916 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 703-860-8000; Fax: 703-860-2960; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado