We live in a visual world. Let's utilize the elements of art to engage students in learning about everything! Visual art supports literacy, mathematics, science, history, social sciences, and the list goes on.
Every child has dreamed of going to, or living in a
castle. This place may be real or even make-believe. Yet, it sparks
stories, oh so grand! I had a chance to revisit my childhood dreams, when a
teacher approached me and asked about creating a background for a play, featuring
a compilation of fairytales. First, I thought "another thing to
do". Then I began to fantasize and my imagination ran away with me. WHOOSH! As
a kid, I often wished I could play in a castle. Soon the excitement of
bringing this to life-size seemed quite doable. I wanted it to become a
reality for the students in my school.
I wanted them to experience going from idea, to model, to life-size. I wanted them to experience "DOABLE".
This project supported the mandated literacy
We needed a background or setting to support
the characters and events.
First, I created a paper model. I used simple shapes like rectangles,
squares, triangles, and circles. Then, the students and I recreated it on a larger scale. The
students were intrigued about changing the scale and adding texture to make it
look more believable.
The play was a success! Many children wanted to draw and write fairytales of their own. It was amazing to see and hear their creations and stories. I always tell them that they can create their own worlds inside and outside of their imaginations.
The students enjoyed creating their own setting for their stories and movies. Art making stimulates and develops imagination and critical thinking in our students.
This fall, my art class was focused on supporting our science curriculum. Most grade levels had a common thread ...night elements.
This was an exciting way to take their everyday and night experiences and make science meaningful to them.
Ah-Ha! Nocturnal Animals! What creatures come out at night?
Give the students a blue or violet piece of construction paper and tell them place a moon into the scene. You immediately have a connection to their real life experiences. Floods of experiences, stories, wonderings, and imagination spark for science!
"We all have to eat sometime!" growled the coyote.
Art making motivates and engages children in learning.
I didn’t know that Varnette Honeywood had died.She was an important artist in my life.In the 1980’s , Bill Cosby introduced her vibrant, colorful, artwork in the backdrops for the sets for the television show The Cosby show.I had been teaching already for a while and loved to cut paper images.I thought nothing of it until the day I say her artwork.Her style of collage and painting everyday scenes really made feel so at home in my soul.I remember, my father buying many of her works of art and adorning an entire wall. We would laugh and reflect on the connections we had every time we gazed at one of her works.Before I knew it I had taken risks in art making by creating similar scenes from everyday life using colored construction paper and other mixed media.
One starry night....where? One starry night in the desert....Yes indeed! Inspired by the infamous painter VanGogh, we were able to create night time story settings. Now all we have to add are the characters/actors to the set.