Frame it or Trash it? Writing Argument about Art

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SWBAT argue about a piece of art work by generating three criteria that evaluate its value and by elaborating on those criteria in a short writing.

Big Idea

Quick: get your beret and French accent--we're going to be art critics!

Returning to Argument

15 minutes

Earlier this year, we did a LOT of work on argument.  The students wrote about arguments about the topics of persistence (see my first unit) as well as about novels such as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and others.   Today, we will review the basic tenets of argument writing, and we will begin to write an argument about art (W.9-10.1): trash it or frame it (or hang it in granny's attic).   We are doing this because evaluating art is an important part of the interpretive experience. 


Activate Prior Learning:  

What do you remember about argument?  What is a claim, evidence, explanation/link, rebuttal?Why are these elements important? (W.9-10.1a)

Why do people argue about art?  Is it worth arguing about (yes), and why? 

The following prompt asks you to write an argument about whether or not classrooms should be separated based on gender.  What might be some of the sub-claims here?

- Less distracting?  More diverse with two genders?  More fun?  Better learning?  

ACT style argument prompt about gender in classrooms

- When you generate criteria for your argument (these are sub-claims) what is important to keep in mind as ways of developing your argument in a respectable manner? (W.9-10.1b)

- What might be some criteria that you could use to judge a piece of art work? 

Model Essays

10 minutes

Below is a sample of an argument paper about a piece of art work that we have been discussing a great deal in this unit.  How can we evaluate the criteria that the writer uses?  What do you think of the level of detail in the examples?  How about the transitions and cohesion from point to point?  (W.9-10.1c)

In their own arguments, students pick a piece of artwork to critique from our fieldtrip; alternatively, they can write this argument about a piece that they have used for their narrative writing or their informative writing.  It's neat that some have expressed interest in doing this, in writing in depth about a single piece of art work from various vantage points!  I've decided to be flexible with the actual work of art that they are selecting. 

I will have students read this piece in pairs, and then we will have the discussion (SL.9-10.1) as a large group. 


Battle for the Painting

This piece by Vladimir kush is amazing. It should be in every art museum. This is a fantastic piece, it should be in a art museum and it shouldn’t go down.  This art is so much better than most of the art  in the world. The painter of the painting has committed to art since his childhood, so that explains how much experience he has in painting. This is art is better than The Scream By Edvard Munch (that painting sold for $119.9 million). This painting is so much better than that. Also, This picture makes you feel alive and free.

Vladimir Kush was meant to be a painter because of so many reasons. He went to art school from age seven! He has so much experience and he has created a lot of good paintings in the past.Vladimir Kush went to Surikov Moscow Art Institute. He then later joined the Soviet Army, instead of fighting he was a mural painter. He made money in the streets with his art. LAter he moved to the U.S and then he opened the Kush Fine Art Galleries. He can be billionaire with his artwork.

This picture Vladimir Kush has created make you feel free and alive. It has a bit of fantasy, but who dosent like a little bit of that. An air balloon created by the clouds. Behind it all is beautiful sunset. Two people sitting at the edge of hill watching it unfold. It is such a beautiful sight. There is so much other stuff like the man on the boat in the distance, the moon starting to shine, and the other air balloon starting to die off. This picture can be connected to the Starry night By the one and only Vincent Van Gogh.

Some may say that this picture isn’t that big of a deal, but they’re wrong because this is an amazing picture which captures your eyes and you will want to stare at it for the rest of your life. This might even be the most coolest thing in the world. But the main point is that this picture shouldn’t be put down and should be put up. this artist of the painting is experienced, famous, and had dedicated his life to art. This picture makes you feel alive and free. This picture will make your sad to happy.

Wrap Up

5 minutes

If time, we will review English1WritingAboutArt.   For homework, the students are to complete their three short writings and expand one for a summative grade.  I will have office hours available to coach students on their writing, and I will  take a visit to study hall tomorrow to help students as they revise.  They should have the three pieces of writing completed for tomorrow (formative grades) and the revision in two days (summative grade with conferencing).