SchoolArts Magazine

SEP 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 27 of 62

SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 23 with upper-level students. I hesitated, knowing all too well that I didn't yet have an understanding of this new age level and that playing it safe was probably the way to go. As I often do, I ignored this instinct and decided to start my sixth-grade class with a "fold, cut, adhere" project. Experimentation First, I asked students to consider the role of an artist. We discussed in sim- ple terms that an artist creates "some- thing," oftentimes out of "nothing." What starts as a palette of paint and a blank canvas turns into an image that one can recognize and appreciate. I held up a 6" (15 cm) square piece of paper and asked students to consider what that object might be turned into using their imagination. Students folded their papers and used scissors to cut, rip, or curl until each piece of flat paper turned into a structure that differed greatly from the original. Students enjoyed the idea of turning something simple into a com - plex and intriguing shape. Collaboration I then introduced the second part of the lesson. I wanted students to join forces with a group of their classmates to create a repetitive sheet of their sculptures. I asked them to consider which shapes would reproduce well, which were most unique, and which sculptures would connect to one another to form a symmetrical plane. Casting a Light I introduced students to another fac- tor that would change their simple papers into something larger and more intricate—the use of light. We ventured into the hallway where the sculptures would be displayed, and we discussed how light travels through the windows with intensity at various times of the day. I set the groups free to brainstorm how the light might affect their sculp- tures and how these changes would look and feel to the viewer. Students thought about adding color to the sculptures by adhering cellophane to spots where the light was intended have to get accustomed to the devel- opmental abilities of the younger stu- dents and the once-a-week time frame. Without much in the way of planning time, we would have to use the basic supplies I already had in my classroom. Fold, Cut, Adhere I researched successful projects from colleagues in the field and found that I was gravitating toward a common lesson of using simple paper to create more complex sculptures; something I had seen done many times, but always Left: Students collaborated to create a repetitive sheet of their folded paper sculptures. Above: Cellophane was added to these sculptures to provide a pop of color when light reflects through.

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