Instruction and Management

During the Fall Semester of 2018, Courtney and Layne are so happy to be teaching students in Tamara’s 2nd and 3rd grade class about art! Our unit with these students will be based around the big idea that art can be used format for an artist to tell their unique story. We believe that art is a form of visual language and it is very important that students develop a visual literacy; this visual literacy will enable students to make better sense of their world and the visual information they are surrounded by everyday! Students will create artwork that expresses their perspective about the world around them and tells us the stories they want to tell. We will explore the ways in which contemporary artists tell stories through their work. Students will be able to identify the ways in which artists (including themselves) can create artwork that leads the viewer on a visual journey with meaning and purpose.

Lesson 1 Summary - Agate Creatures

We read the book Agate: What Good is a Moose. The author uses real gemstone as inspiration for characters in the story. She identifies key characteristics of the stone’s appearances and transforms them into animals with personalities of their own. Following this process, each student received two agates and worked to transform them into creations of their own. The students brainstormed some possible ideas in their sketchbook and made close observations about their stone’s unique aspects. Then students were introduced to a large white canvas where they could bring their creatures to life with paint. They were able to experiment with paint as an expressive medium - utilizing different colors, the mixing of colors, the fluid nature of the brush, a variety of washes, thick application and more! Students also began work on Creature Bios which were a writing opportunity for students to reflect on their original intentions for their creatures and strengthen their creature’s story by writing down ideas for their creatures name, personality, home, and other key details you would find in a written story about a character. We also touched on numeracy by planning what their creatures would look like and how to use aspects of the stones before starting the painting. Literacy was involved though group discussions and filling out the creature bio worksheet. Some students even went above and beyond and wrote out stories involving their creature. We used technology by showing the students the website we were making and a powerpoint of contemporary artists. 

Lesson 2 Summary - Home Sweet Home

Next the students jumped from 2-D to 3-D with their storytelling. They were able to think about their creature in a new way by considering how it would change when it could be seen from all sides as a 3-Dimensional form. We also emphasized the use of personification to show their creatures personality through their sculpture. For example, some students chose to give their creature sharp teeth to show that it is mean or little friends that hang around it to show that it is kind. In this lesson, students also designed a setting or environment for their creature to live in. These environments give more depth to the student’s story of their agate creature by helping the audience learn more about what imaginary setting that creature comes from. Students had many opportunities to reflect on their art making experiences through written assignments, class discussions, and one-on-one inquiries with us. In this lesson we utilized technology, numeracy and literacy in the same way as the previous lesson. During this lesson we split the class up into groups of students ready to glaze their creatures and those who were still constructing them. The glaze group got a small demo and were able to keep working on their creatures. Also during the work days students were split up into several groups depending on what step they were on or if they wanted to go back and work on previous projects. We had a group painting, glazing, and working on their 3-d environments. 

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