SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 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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an opinion about Cave's intentions for creating these sculptural and wearable objects. I slowly added more informa - tion to the mix and we observed how their impressions changed. Students were ultimately surprised to learn about the racial significance of the pieces and we discussed the strong themes that unfolded in Cave's work. Responding to the Word "Safe" To help guide students' theme cre- ation, I asked them to respond to the word "safe." They developed reaction word lists, discussed with peers, and did some stream of consciousness writing and drawing. Following their ongoing and turbulent—not unlike the climate of the country at this time. Though it is a difficult and sensitive time, I've observed that many of my middle-school students engage in con - versations with their peers about what they see and hear in the news. They want an open conversation and to learn more about the things they fear. Students were seeking ways to feel safe and secure in their school, and they were engaging in real, practical dialogues about how to achieve that. For their final project of the course, I reacted to these conversations by intro - ducing a conceptual lesson in which students could share their voices. Discussing Theme The project itself, although unre- stricted, was heavily guided. We stud- ied "theme" by looking at Nick Cave's Soundsuits. I asked students to form I urged students to take "safe" on a journe nique to their thematic ideas. Student shadow scene, Vulnerabilit , grade eight. 14 DECEMBER 2018 SchoolArts

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