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We hope this two-

page guide will help

sharpen your reading

skills and deepen your

understanding of this

issue’s articles.


We encourage

reproduction and

adaptation of these

ideas, freely and without

further permission from


, by teachers

at any level, whether

working in a classroom or

through home study.



Julie Weiss

is an education

consultant based in Eliot,

Maine. She holds a Ph.D. in

American studies. Her com-

pany, Unlimited Horizons,

develops social studies,

media literacy, and English

as a Second Language

curricula, and produces

textbook materials.


“Ferozkoh: Renewing the Arts of the

Turquoise Mountain“

Where does creativity come from? What

inspires people to create things, be they

works of art, foods to eat or inventions that

change how something is done? And once

people have been inspired, how do they go

about making whatever it is they’re mak-

ing? “Ferozkoh: Renewing the Arts of the

Turquoise Mountain” presents a fascinating

example of the creative process. Read the

article. When you have completed these

activities, you will be able to:

• describe the process by which

Turquoise Mountain artists created

pieces for the “Ferozkoh” exhibit

• try part of a process described in the

article to create a work of art

• present your artwork and an analy-

sis of it, including what influenced

your creation

Chart the Process

Once you have read the article (in class

or for homework), focus your attention

on the process in which the Turquoise

Mountain artists participated to create

the objects for the exhibition. Working

with a group (after all, the process the

artists used was all about interaction), go

through the article and identify the steps

the artists went through to create their

pieces. List the steps, or mark up your

copy of the article. Number each step,

and underline the important parts about

it. Then, with your group, create a graphic

of some kind that shows the creative

process in which these artists engaged.

Write a title for your graphic.


The article begins with an assertion:

“For an artist it is difficult to create art in

isolation.” Discuss with whom the artists

interacted during their creative process.

How did the interaction affect their work?

Some people believe that creativity is

a solitary process. Debate this, using the

article, your prior knowledge and your own

experience for information.

Try It

It’s not likely that you can easily get

up close—let alone handle—any art

masterpieces, so you can’t quite do what

the Turquoise Mountain teachers did.

But you can do a version of it: Choose

an object that you find beautiful or

interesting, one that moves you in some

way. It can be anything from a rock you

see in a garden to a piece of jewelry to a

painting to a coffee cup. Sketch the object

the way the artists described in the article

sketched their object. In other words,

sketch your reaction to the object rather

than the object itself. Proceed from there.

Create something that your chosen object

has inspired you to make.

When you have made your creation,

think about how it relates to the object

you started with. Write something that

explains your artwork, including how it

evolved from the original object. Include in

your writing a response to “For an artist, it

is difficult to create art in isolation.” How

did interacting with the original object and

with your classmates affect your creation?

As a class, exhibit your work. Display

each work of art with the object that inspired

it and with the artist’s statement about

the art. Invite others to visit your exhibit,

and provide them with an opportunity to

respond to what they see, since interacting

with the audience is another instance of

interaction—one that may very well affect

the next thing you create.

Visual Analysis

The staff at



photographs to accompany the articles

in the magazine. Look at the photos that

accompany “Ferozkoh: Renewing the Arts

of the Turquoise Mountain.” What do you

notice about the photos? What do they

have in common with each other? What do

you notice about what the photos do not

show? (Hint: Do an Internet search about

In this edition of

the Classroom

Guide, we continue

with our new

format using

discrete lessons,

each focused on

one article. The

lessons begin with

an introduction,

then a statement

of goals—what

students should

be able to do by

the time they


by step-by-step

instructions for the

activity. We hope

this format will

make it easier to



in your classroom.


Look at the photos on pages 34-35. Discuss these questions with a partner:

Why do you think photographer Eric Hansen took photos of the



this angle? What does it enable you to see? Why do you think the editors at


chose to display two entire pages of photos of non lined up like

Instagram shots? What does this layout enable you to see?

Now look at the photos on pages 36-37. With your partner, write some

notes about how these photos are different from those on pages 34-35. What

do they add to your understanding of the article’s content? Which photos—

those in the first spread or those in the second—do you find more interesting?

What makes them interesting to you?