The following visual was created in Adobe Photoshop and will be used in my fourth grade art unit; Louise Nevelson-inspired Shadow Boxes. Students are 8-10 years old and have not been introduced to art classification. This visual is a graphic organizer that helps students understand how to classify art into its many categories.
The purpose of this visual is meant to be organizational as it illustrates factual information (Lohr, 2008, p. 75). The information presented is limited, to meet the level of the age group. Initially, I wanted to create three different visuals to cover the main points (Media, Type of Art and Medium), but I decided it made more sense to put them all together as long as I could make it easy to understand. Although I had a basic idea of how I wanted to organize the information, I found myself focusing on how the information was going to flow in the visual. I spent a lot of time in the “creating” portion of the ACE design model, reworking the arrangement of each element and the overall shape. Under the PAT design framework, this falls under the A of PAT and stands for actions. Actions deal with changes or movements of the informational elements to help convey the idea (Lohr, 2008, p. 80). While there are a variety of ways this information can be presented, it needed to be simple enough for the age group it is intended for. The presentation of this information is going to be a key factor as well. So as to not overwhelm my learners, I will be loading the visual into SMART Notebook (a program to use with a SMART board). This will allow the learning to be interactive. It will also allow me to hide the lower chunks of information, so I can focus on one chunk of information at a time during instruction. Once all portions are revealed, students will be able to understand the flow without being overwhelmed.
To keep consistency among the visuals created, I used a light gray background with a sans serif typeface. Key words and categories are bolded and pastel colors were used as fill for the shapes to highlight the differences in categories. The colors I chose are soft to make the visual easy on the eyes.
As mentioned above, I spent a lot of time moving elements around to find the best flow for the information. In the end when I showed this to another individual who also teaches art, the only suggestion was to move one of the rectangular definition boxes to the other side of the chart to create more of a balance. Overall, I’m very pleased with this visual and feel this will help my learners understand how to classify art into its different categories.