The first graders created textured pendants by stomping on a peice of clay. Students learned about the processes of firing and glazing the clay peices. They also learned a lesson in patience after making several attempts at stringing the bead/pendant and tying the string. In the end all students were sucessful!
As an elementary art teacher I tend to receive many drawings and notes from the students (I'm sure you other elementary teachers have the same experience). This note was an absolute gem, so I thought I would share it:
The twentieth century, American logician, Nelson Goodman, describes the act of viewing artwork in his article "Art and Inquiry" (Projects and Problems, 1972):
"We have to read the painting as well as the poem, and that aesthetic experience is dynamic rather than static. It involves making delicate discriminations and discerning subtle relationships, identifying symbol systems and characters within these systems and what these characters denote and exemplify, interpreting works and reorganizing the world in terms of works and works in terms of the world. The aesthetic "attitude" is restless, searching, testing-is less attitude than action: creation and recreation."
How can I compel my students to adopt this attitude? How can I exemplify this attitude in my own practice?
The 6th Grade students learned the origin of American sign language, and they learned the ASL alphabet. The students identified the sign language symbols in their names/nicknames and created drawings showing these symbols.
During Thanksgiving week, we tend to think about what we have and what we are thankful for. While it is important to be grateful and to reflect on our blessings in life, I believe Thanksgiving is a great time to think about needs others may have and how we can meet those needs. I heard about the Fundred Dollar Bill Project (www.fundred.org) while Reading an art education journal last month. The project was started by artist Mel Chin, who hopes to raise 300,000,000 "fundreds" (drawings of one hundred dollar bills designed by students) that he will take to Congress in an effort to exchange them for the $300,000,000 needed to neutralize the lead in the soil in New Orleans. Curently 30% of the children in New Orleans have lead poisoning, and this is a preventable problem. The students learned about Hurricane Katrina (many of them were very young when the hurricane hit in 2005), and they learned about the destruction the hurricane caused. The students were enthusiastic about wanting to help the children in New Orleans, and I was greatly blessed by their empathy and thoughtfulness in creating these "fundreds."
This students drew the "tree of good hope"
This student drew a house on wheels that he wants to bring to people in New Orleans who have lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina.
The fifth Grade students learned the craft of creating coiled bowls out of the pages of recycled magazines. Not only is this project economical (the only materials used are recycled magazines and paper mache glue), but it teaches the students to reuse/renew/recycle!
This week in ceramics class the students learned the difference between PAINTING a ceramic peice and GLAZING a cermic peice. I told the students the benefits and detriments of both mediums, and I allowed them to choose to work at either the glaze station OR the painting station. As a side note to students and parents, all glazes are lead free and dinnerware safe.