Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Collage Introduction to the Science Curriculum

Science 6 and 7

Science Teacher Adam Fox wanted his students to get an overview of what they would be learning about throughout the year, and he also had some bare walls to fill. He introduced the unit topics, broke the classes into groups, and pulled out a pile of science magazines. The job was to create a collage summarizing what would be studied in each unit, and to come up with an image that would symbolize what that unit was about. The finished collages hang throughout the room, and serve as a reminder to students of what they have studied, and what is to come. They also helped Adam to check their understanding of what each of the topics is about, and help to create a more aesthetic teaching environment.

Adam introduced some collage craftsmanship tips, such as cutting neatly around the outlines of figures, rather than pasting down rectangular picture boxes, and considering the interaction of foreground figure and background image when arranging the photos.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Illustrating Poetry: Being Figurative

Language Arts 8

8th grade students were required to write a series of poems as part of their poetry unity. Their teacher, Pat Ludwig, wanted them to produce an illustrated book of their poems. We saw this as an opportunity to extend their thinking about what purpose an illustration serves. They had been working with metaphor, irony, and figurative language in class, and we wanted them to transfer those skills from the realm of language to that of imagery. This is what meaningful arts integration is all about: not merely showering kids with art projects, but using the arts as a vehicle to help them think and communicate in different ways; to understand that each of the arts can come at the same concepts from different angles.

In the slideshows below, you can see the steps we led the students through to reach an understanding of how they could be figurative in their approach to illustrating their poems, followed by examples from their final poetry books. The books were produced using Blurb, and the students were given the option of finding images in royalty-free image databases, or creating their own original artworks. Please note that you may pause the slideshows, or click on them to view a full-sized version.