Reflect and Discuss: Crits in the Classroom

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Once you have made your sculpture, even if it was just a 30 minute session, try to make time to appreciate what has been made, to reflect and focus your thoughts, and to listen to feedback from others. Learning how to talk about art, especially art you have made yourself, is all part of making art. This process can take place even if the work is unfinished. In art schools this would be called a Crit. You might like to read this post which shares how Crits work in Games Art & Design at NUA. 

Here are some simple steps to facilitating a crit:

1. Clear the space. Presenting the “sculptures” in a clear space is really important: it helps people see what is there, and it helps validate the objects made. This might be as simple as cleaning table tops, and maybe even laying down a sheet of paper to present the object. As pupils get older and more experienced, thinking about how they present their sculpture (i.e. on a plinth, on a cloth, on the floor etc) can be developed further.


Pocket Gallery

Image by Anne Louise Quinton

2. Invite the pupils to walk around the room, looking at the objects made. This should be a quiet, focussed activity – perhaps invite them to talk to their neighbours as they walk around, but no rushing.


Pocket Gallery

Image by Anne Louise Quinton

3. Establish the aim of the crit. This might be to share successes. It might be to reflect upon what has been made and what might happen next. If children are not so experienced then remind the children that everyone’s view is valid, and to talk with respect about each others work.

4. As the adult you are there as a facilitator. Your role is to ask questions and open up conversation, rather than to “teach”. Ensure you find something positive to say about each pupil’s work.

5. Examples of questions might be:

  • How might I display my “sculpture”? Will it be at eye level? On some kind of plinth? Hung?

  • How do I feel about what I have made? How does it relate to the starting point?

  • How far did I come away from the initial starting point?

  • What do I like about it? Which parts of the process did I enjoy? Where did I feel lost? What did I discover?

  • What do other people think about what I have made?


Pocket Gallery

Image by Anne Louise Quinton


This is a sample of a resource created by UK Charity AccessArt. We have over 1100 resources to help develop and inspire your creative thinking, practice and teaching.

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