We all have projects that we do every year. Sometimes it is because that is what's in our curriculum...and sometimes it is because the skill is needed & the project is good! However, after you've been teaching for almost 20 yrs...some project begin getting a bit stale. Thank goodness for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs....RIGHT!!! I do like to be an innovator though & not just rely on the internet. I like re-imagine a project based on the needs of my students & the skills I'm really wanting to make sure they have before leaving me to go to middle school.
In 4th grade we've had Clay Facades as part of our curriculum...pretty much forever. It is a great lesson that can go in so many different directions according to students interests & units being taught. However...I was bored with them. If I'm bored...than my students are not going to be super excited either. So what exactly was I trying to get across with this lesson?
Structure. Purpose. Attaching.
Addition. Subtraction. Craftsmanship.
So what/how could I teach those ideas in a re-imagined way. I thought about interior/exterior structures. I thought about my students need for more art history. I thought about units that would carry over ideas for painting, clay, collage, and drawing.
Put that in the blender and set it on high!
The past two years my students have studied an artist as part of a unit, and created multiple projects based off of that inspiration. For the clay lesson this year...they were to use Egyptian Curtain by Matisse as inspiration. We looked at different types of curtains, discussed what would go on a table, and talked about what could be outside the window. We looked at the structure of windows and how they are put together. Then they created their wall hangings in 3-D Relief form...having to add, subtract, and draw in the clay to create their image. I love them!
Last Year We Were Inspired By Monet