Critical thinking about art is important. I want my students to:
- Think about the content and meaning of works of art.
- Analyze the formal aspects of the work and practice using art specific vocabulary.
- Make connections and give feedback to the artist.
- Talk and interact with each other!
This can be done with a formal critique, sure.
But they get old.
They can be boring.
They tend to be looooooong.
When activities get old, kids get bored and then are unengaged and compliant or act out. Who want that? Not me, not them. That's why critique games are a fun alternative to critique. I always use group work in crit games to shorten the duration of the activity while still making sure everyone's work is discussed.
Critique Game Ideas
1. Tell A Story
Process: Groups meet and share work, then create a short story, rap or poem that represents each member's work. Student designed props are a must! Next, groups preform for the whole group and explain how each artwork was included.
2. Title Match
Process: With artwork out on the table, give each student a strip of paper and ask them to write the title of their work. Pile the titles in the center of the table, including one or two fake titles. Next, have groups switch tables and work together to match the artwork and the title. Then each group share what title they gave each work and explains why.
3. Symbolic Collaboration
Process: Each group member shares their artwork, then the group works together to create a new piece. Next each group shares them work they created and how it represents the member's work.
I'm an high school art teacher who's really interested in student choice and creating opportunities for self expression. I'm also a writer for The Art of Education and co-author of The Open Art Room.