Incorporating Artist Research Projects In the Classroom

Making it fun

Artist research activities can be well just blah to some students. It may be the word research or it may be the “is this artist dead & why do we have to study him/her?” question we always hear. Either way we know as art teachers, that there are just some artist that all students need to know about. It’s important for us to be creative with how we are incorporating art history and artist research. Make it fun, make it interactive, do it in ways where they are researching without realizing they are “researching”!

We learned about Van Gogh recently! He always makes for interesting classroom discussion. I find that they are always extremely intrigued by him being ‘the one who cut his ear off’. We completed these fun interactive fans that they loved! It was hands on, they had room to be creative with it and of course they love walking away with a fun fan they can show off. This is a great way I have incorporated artist research in the classroom. We paired this interactive fan project with a watercolor painting inspired by Van Gogh’s Sunflower Series. When trying to incorporate artist research in the classroom here are a few tips!

Tips

  1. Make it fun, think about ways you can be creative and not just have a single sheet of paper they fill out.
  2. Pair the research with a documentary or fun project where they can recreate one of the artists work and put their own spin to it.
  3. Have students break up into teams and make it a trivia day. They can use one classroom day to prepare and ‘study’ the artist and the next day it’s game on! 

Gallery

Below is the link to this interactive Van Gogh fan. You can use this in your classroom for a fun. Students will follow a Powerpoint lesson that walks through different works of art from Van Gogh, his upbringing, his achievements as well as his impact on the art world. Following, they will complete their own interactive fan where they will draw examples of his work, look at his color schemes, list facts, quotes achievements and more!

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