Guest Blogger: The Perception of Art

Katie Korbas
Katie Korbas

Students love Sensation. The first half of the Sensation and Perception is a joyous time where we do a plethora of fun demonstrations and engage in meaningful conversations about what it would be like to lose one of our senses. The wheels grind to a halt, however, with perception. Going from concept to concept means very little to the students, and they need a way to make the ideas more tangible.

Even if they are not a connoisseur, most students appreciate art. On the day of the lesson, we start by briefly going over the concepts of perception. Students are then placed into groups that are all assigned an artistic movement such as impressionism, cubism, realism, Dadaism, etc. Each group is given a list of perceptional concepts, depth cues, and organizational principles that they must find in their art movement. They then compete to see what art movement utilizes the most concepts. I have seen other lessons out there like this on the fabulous AP Psychology Facebook page, but I added the element of competition to make students really fight to find as many concepts as possible. If anything, a little bit of competition makes the students more enthusiastic to participate in class.

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