SchoolArts Magazine

APR 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 49 of 62

CONTINUED ON PAGE 55. The Giles County Appalachian Alphabet, 2015–2017. special alphabet. The goal was to form each letter using an item begin - ning with that letter. So, tomatoes were arranged into the letter T, and zucchini formed the letter Z. As they brainstormed, the kids delighted each other with silly suggestions. I Is for Insects Figuring out how to represent each letter raised many challenges. It opened up possibilities for new kinds of materials to explore and use to craft the letters. After decid - ing that the letter I would stand for insects, my colleagues and I collected field guides and refer - ence books so the children could see the wide variety of insects in our county. These images, paired with beautiful studio art materials, motivated the children to design, sketch, sculpt, and paint specimens. They took note of parts of the insects they had not noticed before. They were mesmer - ized by the colors, body shapes, number of wings and legs, and length of anten - nae. Suddenly, the kids were budding naturalists! After three sum- mers of concentrated effort by the children, the Appalachian Alphabet was finished. GEEP had posters of the alphabet printed, which we proudly display. Another Use for Our Alphabet Recognizing, as GEEP had, that our kids were struggling with academics, a local church set up an after- school tutoring and community cen- ter. This is a place where children can go right after school for a snack, get help with homework, and have fun. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 45

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