SchoolArts Magazine

MAY 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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Sculpting Students skipped the bulldozers (and clay tools) and worked the clay with their hands, strengthening their fine motor skills. Students began poking and prodding their dough as soon as it was on the table. As teachers, we know that dough or clay provides resistance and helps promote hand strength, and kids know it has limitless possibilities. S ome students jumped immediately into 3D manipulation, using the entire lump of dough as one solid starting piece. Others broke theirs off into sec - tions, one to be flattened and used as t he "ground" to be built upon with smaller pieces. In both instances, stu- that would suck you up, "unless it's sleeping—then you can tip-toe out!" Others told stories of cross- ing bridges or entering portals to o ther worlds. There were hills to roll down, an "upside-down world" to navigate, and cliffs to be wary of. Making these miniature earthworks, students finessed their fine motor skills and explored mathematical concepts of ratio and scale. Perhaps most excitingly though, my students fancied they were large-scale land artists, creating physical representa - tions of pretend worlds for make- b elieve visitors to explore. Sue Liedke is an art teacher at Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, Pennsylva- nia. susan.liedke @ smsmusic.org N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work. W E B L I N K stormking.org/artist/maya-lin/ dents utilized bilateral coordination, both hands (and both sides of the brain) working together to accomplish goals. Hills and valleys emerged, and arches and canyons reminiscent of the natural beauty of the American Southwest became visible. I asked students where they imagined their earthworks to be. At someone's home? A park? A museum? Welcoming Visitors As students' miniature earthworks materialized, I passed out the final addition: park visitors. These 1:150 model train passengers helped stu - dents mentally translate the scale of t heir art. Seeing tiny art explorers experience the freshly manipulated terrain brought a new wave of joy to my designers. While students made last-minute adjustments, I overheard many imaginative conversations as the model people climbed over and through students' art. Narratives emerged. I heard a warning about a spooky puddle M tudents fancied the were large-scale land artists, creating ph sical representations of pretend worlds for make-believe visitors to explore. Twins Dancing for the Queen. Little Craters. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 31

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