Productive questions get students to look beneath the surface of ideas. It requires moving away from assumptions and familiar thoughts, and staying with the questions as one works to comprehend and then act on them. You might ask students, “what is the purpose of your writing” (beyond a required assignment). And, if this particular ideas is the purpose of my writing, then how does my “vessel” in the form of a book serve the purpose of the writing, or vice versa? What are the ways the elements of art could be varied to enhance the final project? Of course, the questions might be asked in a more simple manner, but in asking the questions, and asking students to stay with the questions, the art project then becomes a true integration of writing and art as well as of critical thinking – three goals of this curriculum.
How can you carve out time in the busy school schedule to ask similar questions and then give time for students to think about them in relationship to their projects?