SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 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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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 33 O ur local community school has embraced the educational program of the Six Pillars of Character. These character traits represent the core ethical values of CHARACTER COUNTS!, a program intended to help instill a positive school climate and a culture of kindness. The pillars include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. We developed this project to help students reflect on these Six Pil - lars of Character and appreciate their value to themselves, their school, and their greater community while creating a positive frame of reference for their own thinking and behavior. The Visual Art Problem Our idea was to have students create 3D paper cubes in which they would illustrate each of the six sides with one aspect of a Pillar of Character. When complete, we would combine these into a series of vertical 3D sculptures. We began by discussing with students what the Six Pillars of Characters could mean. Process Have students begin the process by developing a wide range of texture and pattern studies on paper. Then provide a teacher-made template of a flattened cube that will fit on an 11 x 17" sheet of paper, including tabs to be used to glue together the final form. Each side of the cube should measure 3 ¼ x 3 ¼" (8 x 8 cm). Also print for students six varied fonts, one for each word, to be cut and pasted onto each side of the six-sided cube. Ask students to stamp a thumb - print in each square. This will person- alize each square while supporting the idea of "thumbs up" as students identify the meaning of each of these character words. Encourage them to draw many varied textures and patterns using fine-tipped black permanent markers, keeping in mind balance, proportion, and the contrast between black and white. As students work to develop each side of their cube, ask them to think and reflect on the meaning of each of the six words. Assembly When the texture and pattern draw- ings are complete, students cut each cube out. They score all of the lines and tabs with a wooden dowel tool to create crisp edges. They then fold and glue the cube together using a glue stick. They mount the finished cubes vertically on a wooden dowel running through each cube, supported by a wood base. The overall design supports the importance of each word and con - nects students' cubes with one another. Evaluation Ask students to consider these questions: How has your awareness of these values increased through this process? How difficult was the development of those various textures and patterns? What do you hope the viewer will see and think about when seeing these sculptures? Conclusion The Six Pillars of Character create a meaningful structure for promoting positive thinking and behavior. These expressed values can and will have a positive impact on the students we teach. These collaborative sculptures support visual, cognitive, and empathetic human connections to encourage respect of the people and the world around them. Angela Mikula is an art teacher at Dela- ware Township Middle School in Seargents- ville, New Jersey. amikula@dtsk8.org Ken Vieth is the author of From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Art and Design Problem Solving, and Engaging the Adolescent Mind Through Visual Problem Solving, available from Davis Publications. kcvieth@gmail.com N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art. W E B L I N K Six Pillars Overview: charactercounts. org/program-overview/six-pillars/ The SIX PILLARS of Character Angela Mikula and Ken Vieth The Six Pillars of Character • Trustworthiness • Respect • • Fairness • Caring • Citizenship Materials • 80 lb. sulfite white paper, 11 x 17" (28 x 43 cm) • teacher-made template • fine-tipped black permanent markers • scissors • glue sticks • black ink pads • wooden dowels to be used for vertical support We developed this project to help students appreciate their value to themselves, their school, and their greater communit .

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