SchoolArts Magazine

FEB 2019

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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Page 39 of 54

Let Us Learn In my artwork, I wanted to portray the meaning of education and its importance. I used to take education for granted until I learned what other kids go through around the world. Some don't go to school and can't get the proper education they deserve; this must change. For my collage, I used pages from a book to represent how knowledge should be blooming in every child. I also created a tree out of foil to represent the growth children experience as they learn new things. —Lauren Mocur, grade eight Save the Whales Many people used to kill whales, and that act was called whaling. Nowadays, it has been forbidden to kill whales. But since many were killed, there aren't many whales left. I created a piece that not only shows the magical and peaceful environment, but I created a whale's tale. The tale represents how the whale species has been broken, but it can never be torn apart. —Emily Rits, grade eight and the energy in the room grew. This was particularly exciting to see among middle-school students. Students were excited to begin working on their newly revamped ideas and enjoyed having a voice in each other's artistic processes. Pre- senting to their peers, receiving con- structive criticism, challenging each other's ideas, and listening to one another are skills that are applicable in and outside of school. A Grander Audience Raises the Stakes I believe my students create art because they love the process, they find it therapeutic, and it's exciting to see the final outcome. I would say that most students do not cre- ate art for a grade, nor do they create Top: Caption. Middle: it for me. When they found out that their work would be shared on social media, however, many of them took extra time to clean up their glued edges and precisely cut each piece of paper. When it comes to creating art- work, it's often the little things that can take it from "Eh" to "Aah." At the end, I asked them to write an art- ist statement to reflect on the process and speak further about their work. Middle-school students are often transitioning from concrete to abstract thinking. The Collage for a Cause assignment helped these art - ists think about objects and ideas in a new way, using symbols to visually represent what was not physically present. The skill sets they applied and the growth that occurred dur - ing the process was unbeatable. This project inspired me to develop more conceptually challenging projects in the future. With each assignment, I look forward to learning along with my students. Sarah Kitchen is an art teacher at Detroit Country Day Middle School in Beverly Hills, Michigan. skitchen@ N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen under - standing. W E B L I N K SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 35

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