SchoolArts Magazine

NOV 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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E L E M E N T A R Y E xploring art through nature pro- vides opportunities for students to discover and use nature as a medium. The following radial design lesson encourages careful obser - vation of local ecology such as leaves, flowers, stones, pinecones, berries, and other natural found objects. This lesson was done within a unit of study focused on land art and art made from nature, specifically the art of Andy Goldswor- thy. We looked at examples of Gold- sworthy's art, the history of land art, a nd we discussed how nature can be used to make art. We then explored the many examples of radial patterns found in nature (e.g., flower petals, snow - flakes, succulent plants, and starfish). Preparation A few weeks prior to the lesson, I explained to students that they would soon learn to make art from natural materials. Students collected a few natural found objects they were drawn to, and I supplied other mate - rials for them. Materials included flower petals, leaves, small stones, pinecones, and berries. Delicate objects such as flowers were dried and pressed flat prior to use. Instructions for Drying and Preserving • Lay items in a single layer on a page of a heavy book or between two loose sheets of paper (avoid glossy paper). • Sandwich the materials between the papers or pages. • Put flat, heavy objects on top of the book or papers to guarantee that the objects will flatten. • Leave multiple pages in between each group of materials to avoid rotting. • After a week of pressing, check Radial Designs from Chanelle Flori your natural materials to make sure they are drying properly. • Continue pressing for another one to two weeks before removing. Student Procedures I discussed with students how examples of radial symmetry and patterns are found in nature, then gave each student a sheet of heavy paper, cardboard, or poster board to use as a work surface. I demonstrated how to find the center of the work surface and asked students to each choose an object to glue there. Students organized their materials, keep - ing in mind that they were try- ing to make a radial design that m imicked those found in nature. I urged students to try differ- ent arrangements of their objects t o find a design that appealed to them. After their designs were finalized, students used a small amount of glue on the back of their object and gently pressed the object onto the backboard. Chanelle Flori is a pre-service student at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. cnf38 @ N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K beautiful-examples-of-symmetry- in-nature/ NATURE This engaging radial design lesson encourages careful observation of local ecolog such as leaves, flowers, stones, pinecones, berries, and other natural found objects. 36 NOVEMBER 2018 SchoolArts Materials • 9 x 9" (23 x 23 cm) heavy paper, cardboard, poster board for backboard • various natural found objects • glue

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