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Arts Madness Round 2

I am about half way through the second round of voting in my Arts Madness tournament. It has been a tremendous success so far. I am seeing students come in asking about who is still in it and who has been eliminated, I hear students talking about who they think will win and discussing why they pick one work over another.


I was really surprised by some of the giants of art history who were eliminated in the first round. Picasso, Warhol, Rembrandt and Pollock were all knocked out. Students were delighted when I shared that Pollock was actually eliminated by his wife, Lee Krasner. I didn't think of this when I first started the tournament, but it has provided a hook to get students more interested when I can share tidbits and connections among artists.

My entry routine for a few years has been for students to come in and there would be a 5 minute student-led discussion about a work of art on the board. From now until the end of the school year, students come in and scan a QR code on the side counter of my classroom. The QR code brings them to a Google form asking which of two artworks they think is better. After voting, students take their seats. I like to share a little bit about the current standings, interesting matchups (like right now we have Britto's blue cat Mona Lisa up against Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa). This has led to greater levels of engagement among my students. Instead of a few the same handful of students talking while everyone else sits passively, I am seeing all the students sharing their opinions via form, but also groups of students showing each other their screens to talk about which matchup they voted in, which they voted for and why. This doesn't seem like the kind of thing I could do all the time, but it is proving a great method of keeping kids engaged during the final weeks of the school year.

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