TOOLKIT: DOUBLE TAKE
THEME: SPACE / COMMUNITY
SUBJECT: VISUAL ART / SOCIAL STUDIES
ARTIST: JOHN PEÑA
GRADE: recommended 8th-12th grade
Students think about messages they receive through media and signage.
Students think about creating and consuming content.
Students reflect on how they can impact change through small gestures.
1. How often do you pay attention to signs and signage? Do you notice the font choices, character size or colors? Why or why not? Is this important?
2. When you hang up a sign, do people automatically follow the instructions? Believe what the sign says? Trust that the sign was put there by an authority figure? What are the social and political implications of this type of trust and control?
3. How can altering your immediate environment benefit the world at large? Can a simple gesture like a sign affect change?
1. Word Balloons, (2014) by John Peña
Travel around your school looking for three signs that stand out to you. Take a photo of them or sketch them in your notebook. Come back to your classroom and share with your classmates the signs that you each found interesting and why. Each student will choose one sign in their school to replicate with as much precision as possible then place it near the original sign. Document the process, installation and interactions that take place around the new signage. Does the second sign cause your fellow students to do a double take? Do they notice the original sign more now that your replica is next to it?
After having made a replica of the original sign, a more advanced step would be to use the aesthetic of the sign to create a new sign that has a completely different message and place it somewhere else in the school. Keep track of what happens to the sign. Watch how people respond to it and document appropriately.
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PENNSYLVANIA CORE STANDARDS
Text Types and Purposes:
-write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
-conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration
Range of Writing:
-write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences
-know and use the elements and principles of each art form to create works in the arts and humanities
-recognize, know, use and demonstrate a variety of appropriate arts elements and principles to produce, review and revise original works in the arts
-use knowledge of varied styles within each art form through a performance or exhibition of unique work
-demonstrate the ability to define objects, express emotions, illustrate an action or
relate an experience through creation of works in the arts