Sunday, December 13, 2009

Launch an Arts-Based, Inter-Disciplinary School Magazine

Leslie O'Shaughnessy of Robert E. Lee High School in Virginia, creates an interdisciplinary magazine that involves several departments in the school and excites the student body, staff and administration enough that she continues this every year. Check out the full student-produced E-Zine online.

Here is an overview of the project in her own words:

WHAT does an Arts-Based, Inter-Disciplinary School Magazine include?
• An overarching “theme” or “big idea”
• A format to showcase student art work from Fine Art, Photo, and Computer Graphics areas
• A range of student “Features” from various core subject areas (written commentary, photographs, skits or debates via video, music links, wiki research, etc.)
• An online magazine with hyperlinks produced with InDesign, and a hard-copy accordian-book display.

WHY launch an Arts-Based, Inter-Disciplinary School Magazine?
• To enrich overall student learning through collaborative effort with core subjects
• To provide “real world” magazine design experience to Computer Graphics students
• To fold “literacy” into the Art POS
• To enable participating students to receive credit for “published” work (looks good on college app’s)
• To facilitate the use of technology via an e-zine format

WHERE TO BEGIN to Launch an Arts-Based, Inter-Disciplinary School Magazine?

1. Choose an overarching magazine theme or human issue. (i.e. honoring nature/global warming, peace/conflict, human diversity, heroes, life cycles, etc.) Consider how other subjects can tap into it.

2. Recruit collaborative effort from teachers of other subjects/departments and research standards to tie into the theme.
  • Cite the current educational trend emphasizing collaboration/inter-curricular connections (Our principal LOVED this project!)
  • Cite the value of showcasing a core department’s work
  • Cite professional development (Evaluations)
  • Cite strand (No new lesson planning needed)
  • Make specific suggestions for tapping-in (Poems, political cartoons, essay excerpt, wiki research, lab results, skits, videos, etc.)
3. For the production of this year's E-Zine with the theme of the environment, aptly titled, Ecozine:

Art students contributed…
  • Art 1 students– printmaking cover art, short Environmental Artist article w/photos
  • Photo students – Local Community Service article w/photos
  • CG 1 students– full e-zine magazine layout, short environmental commentary, original ads
  • Advanced CG students–environmental posters
Core students contributed…
  • Pre-IB Gov’t students– Cap and Trade Debate video
  • ESOL students– recycling pyramids
  • IB Biology students – Wiki research on alternative energy
  • Science students– Rising Sea Level models
  • French 3 students– video skit about littering
  • Spanish 3 students– children’s eco books on video

I recommend 16-pages, including covers, using InDesign

4. Promotion and Exhibit of Final Magazine/Displayed Artwork
  • Print-out hard copies and “accordion mount” and display in school Library.
  • Post pdf file of full magazine on school website. Exhibit mounted cover artwork in school gallery and art shows.

There is more info on the school's website. For additional info on collaboration or magazine production, contact Leslie:


M. Cauthron said...

You should really consider as part of the new wave of publication.


Snippety Gibbet said...

I live and teach near RELee High, so I had to look and see where you are. Roanoke! I love Roanoke. Just saying hello... jan

Anonymous said...

here is what kids think of this project...

Kim Bachmann said...

Excellent blog. Thank you for sharing. I would be interested in what you think of my high school student art blog.