This fall, the students explored the world of imaginary creatures through our first unit. We began this unit by having them paint and draw with watercolor, colored pencils, salt, and tissue paper imaginary creatures. For this lesson, they were to experiment with the materials at hand, and allow the creatures to grow out of these experimentations. Then for the next lesson, we had them create their creatures out of modeling clay using hand building techniques. For this, they were to capture their creatures’ personality as well as their emotions as they molded their creatures out of clay.
We spent the next two class periods building houses out of recycled objects for their creatures. For this lesson, the students had to keep in mind the texture, color, and size of their houses and how these things related to the creatures themselves. Finally, we culminated this unit by creating maps of their creatures’ neighborhoods. The students had to make a map with their peers at their tables and they had to incorporate the main features of maps such as a compass rose, a key, and identifying features for landmarks.
Other lessons that were not apart of the unit that we did this fall were making puppet shows with paper puppets, as well as making sketchbooks, super hero capes, and working with scratch paper.
The creature unit was tied into the Colorado State Standards which are simply: create, reflect, transfer, and comprehend. These Standards were incorporated into the lessons as shown in the following chart.
|Standard||Lesson 1: Watercolor creatures||Lesson 2: Clay Creatures||Lesson 3: Building creatures’ houses||Lesson 4: Maps of creatures’ neighborhoods|
Since the Lab school doesn’t really have an art curriculum, this unit was relevant to the student’s art education in that it got the students to think about the same idea (imaginary creatures) while dealing with different media. This focused their attention to one idea while using a wide variety of media and techniques. Furthermore, the map lesson dealt with cross curriculum learning because the students were studying maps in their other classes, and they were able to make their own imaginative maps using the ideas and lessons they learned in their other classes.
This unit was significant for the students lives in the following ways: globally, and for this class as a group. This unit was globally significant because it encouraged the students to grow in their creativity, and explore an imaginative realm of their own creation. This is an important skill to have in a world that is constantly changing and where imagination and critical thinking are important and valuable skills to have in order to keep stride in this fast pace world. This lesson was significant for the students because I watched many of the students who were timid and afraid to try in art, branch out and gain much more confidence in their artwork. The students exhibited much enthusiasm and pride for their artwork, and they showed great imagination and creativity as they talked about their creatures, and their creatures’ homes and neighborhoods.
This fall, Anna and I really enjoyed working with your students, and we will miss working with them. I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.
~Cory and Anna