Thought starters

  1. How is technology integrated in this art classroom?
  2. How does Mr. Vazquez use questioning to check for understanding?
  3. How do middle school students benefit from arts education?

Great lesson plan. The teacher set a high bar by addressing the students as scholars. His voice tone and body language allowed the students to learn in a positive atmosphere. He started the class with verbal information and visually demonstrated the lesson while reiterating the information for the lesson. Excellent techniques for this age group.

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Using art can reach a different student who may otherwise not understand the subject or lesson.
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This teacher was very hands on and utilized repetition in a very positive way. I love how he used an activity to help the kids learn 19th century art. Very awesome!
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I love how you started with the exercise on searching for the art piece and how you allow the students to express what they think and observe.
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Exceptionally good idea to start the class with an exercise in metacognition as reflection always prepares people for learning. Also, by keeping the focus manageable using the three ideas of color, everyday items and off-centered composition he made it natural for the kids to compare and contrast and thus discuss similarities and differences. Finally, the focus on the world of the everyday and the common people made it easier for the students to imagine the 19th century into being and thus contextualize the artistic examples. The use of the production of an example of the lesson's focus was brilliant as it made the abstract concrete again facilitating the imagination of the world of the 19th century being.
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Lesson Plans


  • Art as an Outlet for Thinking Transcript
    Teaching Channel

    +++ 00:00:05 +++
    Edgar: Good morning. Good morning.
    Edgar: So this

    Art as an Outlet for Thinking Transcript
    Teaching Channel

    +++ 00:00:05 +++
    Edgar: Good morning. Good morning.
    Edgar: So this class is essentially just giving them words for things for things they're already doing, things they already know. I'm just helping them become conscious of it. Being aware of what you're doing and being able to have a dialog and a monolog through it all helps you excel. This will help them in the future.
    Student: So disappointed.
    Creating Success in
    Middle School:
    Art as an Outlet for Thinking

    +++ 00:00:32 +++
    Edgar: In your groups, I want to you research these three paintings...
    Haystack at the Sunset near Giverny by Claude Monet
    Rehearsal on stage by Edgar Degas
    Arrangement in Grey & Black by James Whistler
    Edgar: ... using your Chromebook. Find three things that they have in common.
    Lower Third:
    Edgar Inocencio Vazquez
    6th Grade Visual Arts Teacher
    Uplift Grand Preparatory, Grand Prairie, Texas
    Edgar: Well, today's lesson was about just introducing nineteenth century art and just boiling it down into three characteristics. Focus on color, everyday items, off center composition.
    Edgar: You have ten minutes. Go.
    Student: I think that these are quite different, like the pictures would capture a different angle.

    +++ 00:01:04 +++
    Student: Does the art look vibrant, because that's the explanation of Impressionists.
    Edgar: If during a do-now they're kind of stuck, I facilitate. I kind of nudge them in the right direction and tell them, kind of show them how to look through their Chromebook and how to find answers, where to find answers.
    Edgar: This little bit of information, that's a really good way of finding it. So what do these three paintings have in common?
    Student: They were all made in the 1800s.
    Edgar: Okay.
    Edgar: What I was hoping for them to get is the fact that they're all from the 1800s, that they are all oil on canvas. Focus on color, off center composition and normal, everyday, common objects, something that we use.

    +++ 00:01:43 +++
    Edgar: Oil on canvas. That's a good one. That's a good start.
    Edgar: But I got a variety of answers, even things I didn't even think about.
    Edgar: Anything else? Reborah?
    Student: They're all capturing light. They're all focusing on one thing.
    Edgar: That's a really good observation. That wasn't even part of it, but that was really good. Okay, so we'll say single focus.
    Edgar: What I do to facilitate successful conversations with these scholars, questions. Questions, questions, questions, questions, questions, the right questions.

    +++ 00:02:14 +++
    Edgar: So what does the haystack have in common with the ballerinas? Joseph Garcia.
    Student: The ballerina picture and the haystack, they're off center compositions.
    Edgar: Yes.
    Edgar: The arts are crucial. It's like PE. People need to exercise, people need fresh air, people need a good diet. You need to have balance.
    Edgar: What else? What was another thing that we're focusing on now in the nineteenth century that we weren't focusing on before? Yes, Nathan.

    +++ 00:02:41 +++
    Student: Main focus on color too.
    Edgar: Color, okay. And also, can anyone tell me who the subject is here? Who is the painting of? Stephi?
    Student: A mother, I guess.
    Edgar: The mother of the artist.
    Student: Mm-hmm.
    Edgar: What do they start focusing on in the nineteenth century? Paula, do you want to take a chance?
    Student: Mostly artwork in the nineteenth century, they would be realistic, or about someone that-- something that isn't really important, in main life.

    +++ 00:03:13 +++
    Edgar: Yes. In the nineteenth century, we start to focus on common, everyday things like ballerinas, somebody's mom, something more personal.
    Edgar: I did a demo for them and just kind of reviewed, these three characteristics, that's what we're doing.
    Edgar: I want you to create an image using off center composition and at the center of everyone's table, there's just a normal, common object. Pastel is messy and it's very inaccurate. It's hard to be very exact with it. I'm going to do what's kind of called blocking out. Do you guys see how I'm just making big old shapes?
    Students: Yeah.

    +++ 00:03:50 +++
    Edgar: Try to get them to say them to me, just repeat what we just went over, just repetition, repetition, repetition. Different ways of repeating it.
    Edgar: What is the third thing? We talked about this thing has to be focused on color, has to be focused on an everyday item and what's that third thing it has to be focused on?
    Student: The arrangement?
    Edgar: Yes, but what's that term? What's that term we've been using all day? Brendan, help us out.
    Student: The third thing you need to be focusing on is off center and composition.
    Edgar: Yes, sir. So what is it called, guys?

    +++ 00:04:22 +++
    Students: Off center composition.
    Edgar: Get to it. Go.
    Edgar: And then they went.
    Student: Is it in the middle?
    Edgar: Some scholars had it and they just took it and ran with it.
    Edgar: Okay, so is this in the middle already?
    Student: Yeah.
    Edgar: Is it supposed to be in the middle?
    Student: Ooh.
    Edgar: Some of them I had to start over, because they went exactly where they-- what they've been doing intuitively, to balance the picture out, drew it smack dab in the center. So I tell them, "Hey, is this the way they did things?" and they went, "Oh no." So, "How did they do it?" It's like, "Off center composition." And then, "All right, start again."

    +++ 00:05:02 +++
    Edgar: Can you say for sure, 100 percent, that's not in the middle?
    Student: It looks like that one.
    Edgar: All right, you have less than three minutes.
    Student: You can mix it. That's what I'm doing.
    Edgar: Scholars can synthesize very well if they know the material. If they don't, that's the flag that I'm looking for. Okay, what do I need to touch on again? What do I need to repeat for them?
    Edgar: Well, again, what are the three characteristics that we're trying to capture in this little activity? Brandon, can you tell me one of them?
    Student: I think one of them is off center.

    +++ 00:05:34 +++
    Edgar: Off center what? What is the term? What is that whole term? What's it?
    Student: One of the terms of the art we are doing is off centered in comparison.
    Edgar: Ooh, close. Not comparison. Off center what? Nathan?
    Student: One of the terms were off center and composition.
    Edgar: Off center composition. It's all one phrase, so yes.
    Edgar: They need to feed the soul. They need to feed their intellect. They need to just make something that represents their thoughts, even if it's intuitively, even if it's not consciously. You need an outlet to make something.
    GFX: Teaching Channel
    #### End of C0804_003006_Vazquez_Class.TCH.rc_SD.mp4 ####

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