Extra Art Update: Grades 4-6

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This year, students in grades 1-6 are rotating through an extra class of all 3 specials.  So that means each class gets to see me for extra art for 1/3 of the year.

I’ve been doing separate extra art units, instead of one class getting far ahead of the others.

Check out below to see what’s happened so far this year in extra art, grades 4-6!

Grade 4: Pouch Weavings

Students in fourth grade have been learning about and working on their pouch weavings.  When room 19 was here at the beginning of the year, they did traditional cardboard loom pouch weavings, where they decided on a color scheme, and decided if they wanted to do a pattern or a design.

During the fall I took a class through the EDCO collaborative that had a focus on using Contemporary Artists in the elementary art classroom.  I also presented at and attended the Massachusetts Art Education Association conference in November, and was inspired the keynote speaker Nathalie Miebach.

It was because of those two experiences I decided to rework the pouch weaving unit.  Nathalie uses weather data to create these amazing basket weavings.  Check out her Ted Talk here for more information!  It’s super cool. So, when room 18 came to extra art, I shared Nathalie’s work with the class, and each student came up with a focus for their weavings.  Some students needed to access weather data daily, so I created bookmarks for them to access on our class set of iPads.  Other students decided to gather their data on their own, so they took notes of what they observed outside our classroom window.

I’ve loved this re-imagined unit, and I just found out from the classroom assistant that is in that classroom that Nathalie’s work will be on display at the Fitchburg Art Museum.  The exhibit is called naturetech, and includes two other artists who use data to influence their work.  Click through for more info, and if you can, I’d highly suggest the artist talk on March 22 at 1:30pm.

Also, be sure to check out the Artsonia Gallery to see everyone’s completed weavings!

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Grade 5: Sol LeWit Collaborative Work & Artists Interviews

This is another new unit for this year, that was inspired by some professional development I participated in over the summer.  I was lucky enough to be able to go to the MTA Summer Conference in Williamstown, MA.  While there I took some time to visit Mass MOCA, where I finally got to see the amazing exhibit of Sol LeWitt’s work, who was a Conceptual artist who who write or create diagrams for ‘wall drawings’ that others would follow to create his work.  The actually artwork that was sold was the direction or diagram.  If you haven’t been out to Mass MOCA to see his work, I highly recommend it.

To explore his work, grade 5 students have been exposed to a number of his ‘wall drawings’, through a class lecture and more importantly via recreating the wall drawings using the directions Sol LeWitt created. They created group drawings and a whole class drawing.  At the end of the unit, they also divided into groups to interview each other.

Check out the work in our Artsonia Gallery, and check out the ConantArt youtube page to check out room 14’s videos.  I will post room 16’s interviews as soon as they finish them in the next couple of weeks.

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Grade 6: Fantastical Pen Design & Animation Tutorials

Six graders have worked through two units during extra art. They explored functional art, and envisioned, designed, and created sculpey pens.  I have done this unit in previous years, but it hasn’t always made the cut due to time.  I’m so happy I’ve been able to fit it back in.  The second unit that six graders worked on was a series of workshops that helped them learn how to create stop motion animations.  This unit was developed thanks to the amazing work the Animation Chefs have done.  Their youtube page is a great source of inspiration and tutorials.  Here I’ve linked to the handful that I used with six grade.

Be sure to check out our Artsonia Gallery to see the amazing pens the six graders have made.  Also, check back later in the year to see the original animations that they will be creating.

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