Using my best VTS questioning skills I responded, 'What do you see that makes you ask that?'
He pointed to a large reproduction in my classroom of the Three Musicians.
Brilliant! The student had connected something in his real life with a work of art that he might not otherwise have made a connection with, and I explained his connection to all of my other classes and related the work of art to students in a completely new way.
No, Picasso did not invent 'mine craft' but in what ways is this work of art similar to your game?
How are Cubism and Mine Craft visually similar?
In what ways are the two things different?
Think-pair-share: Find someone in the room who is an expert on Mine Craft. Ask them to explain the concept of the game. Find someone in the room who is an expert on Cubism. Ask them to explain the concept.
Higher order thinking to the max!
From that point, students were directed to design a collage based on one of three of Picasso's ideas: a guitar, another instrument, or The Three Musicians. I encouraged the Mine Craft lovers in my school to use their game as a visual reference if they wanted to recreate the Three Musicians.
Students had to work with a partner to design their work of art by sketching and coloring a small version the first week. On week two, they had to make a large 18"X24" collage of their sketch. Both artists had to give input on the design and both had to work on the collage to make it look neat and well-crafted.
Some of the designs came out more 'Mine Craft'-centric and a little less 'Picasso' influenced, but it was a fun activity and it allowed students with an interest in a video game to incorporate it into our classroom. Also, some of the students felt more comfortable drawing a figure as a 'cube' like a mine-craft musician than if they had to draw a guitar or other instrument, so it gave that element of variety and confidence to many artists!