Meme-ing the Great Masters of European Painting (LS-GR-109)

Reconnecting students to European painting

The suggested learning scenario tries to face the fact that today’s students do not appreciate enough the great masterpieces of European painting. They find them rather outdated and old fashioned. The aim of this project is to help students familiarize themselves with classical European Art. The lesson also aims to support students to find original ways to put the classical paintings into a new context. After looking at them carefully, students can reflect on both their content and appearance.

For this lesson, pupils must combine new language codes such as comics creation, scripting, tagging. This way, the new products (memes) could express new meanings and become much more appealing.

The help of technology is crucial for this scenario. ICT skills are needed to search for information about the painters and the paintings themselves. ICT tools are also used to create the meme and to upload it on the social platform to be shared, tagged and commented.

Preparing the lesson

The scenario can be applied to students between 11 and 13 years old (early teens). It connects the educational curriculum fields of Art, History of Art, ICT, Language and social media. The lesson takes approximately 4-5 lesson hours to be implemented in the classroom. It can be spanned in 2- or 3-weeks’ time. Is was implemented as part of the ICT lesson in a computer lab since the use of technology is vital for this project.

Lesson plan

The lesson consists of 4 main activities. During the first lesson, students get to know Europeana and find the paintings to meme about. For the second lesson, they create the memes and for the third lesson they share and comment on the memes via a social media platform. Finally, the fourth lesson is dedicated to reflection about the activity and evaluation of the process.

As far as the ICT tools are concerned, and apart from the Europeana website, this scenario makes use of Wikipedia, for information search about the painters and the painting. Students can also use Google translate, and presentation software for the meme creation. Finally, they can use Edmodo as a social media platform.

After the scenario is implemented, the teacher initiates an online quiz to collect students’ opinions about the activity. the teacher also evaluates their knowledge over the classical European painting. Optionally and with the help of their teacher, students can print their memes and organize a school exhibition to promote their work and get feedback from their schoolmates.

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