I’ve pretty much decided that, if I ever stop working at my current school, my next career stop would be The Institute of Play. How could a place with that name not be a fun place to work? These are the people who brought us Gamestar Mechanic, Gamekit, and SimCityEdu (which I haven’t tried, yet, but really want to!)
One of the fun resources provided by Institute of Play that I just recently stumbled upon is called, “Everyone’s a Critic.” It’s a game designed to use at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (yet another reason for me to be jealous of New Yorkers!) The free PDF of the game is available here. Fortunately, you do not have to use the game at MOMA; any art museum would do. Instructions are given for a 2-player game and for 3+. For the 2-player game, there is an Artist and a Critic. The Artist chooses a work in the museum that represents a certain theme (known only to The Artist), and The Critic must try to figure out the theme by clues The Artist gives. For the multi-player game, there is one Critic, and the rest of the students are Artists. The Critic chooses a theme, revealing it to The Artists. They must find a piece of art that reflects that theme, and convince The Critic that their choice is the best representation.
The PDF provides a page with suggested themes. You could use that page or create your own that might be more suitable for the age group you work with. Also, who says that you need to be at an art museum? If you have prints in your classroom, you can set up your own museum where “Everyone’s a Critic!“