Students often hear the word "genre" when they write in the classroom. In art class we discussed what they thought the word meant, and then I gave them the simple definition I use. A genre is a category of art. Art could be dance, music, writing, painting, movies or TV.
The root of this lesson comes from a film genre, the mad scientist. The kids looked at images of mad scientists on the television monitor and had to analyze these images. They had to find what common visual elements make up the mad scientist genre. They came up with this list of elements: chemicals, test tubes, rubber gloves, goggles or glasses, wacky hair, lab coat, electrical things etc.
This lesson has a few goals, to teach the kids how genre's have specific elements and how to draw tables, cylinders, and spheres in three dimensions by using ellipses. The kids are also learing about color contrast as they create strange secondary colors to fill up their beakers and test tubes.