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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H ave you ever wondered if we are learning more from the students we teach than they are learning from us? If we take the time to observe our students, we can see that they are filled with their own ideas, and their natural creativity is just waiting to be unleashed. I developed this lesson in collabo- ration with a fourth-grade teacher in my school district. This was to be a lesson based on geometry and required that students include numerous shapes to create a robot, including rectangles, squares, triangles, ovals, circles, penta - gons, and hexagons. Personification I shared a slideshow presentation with stu - dents that showed a variety of robot designs, and we identified and discussed the variety of geometric shapes they could use to create a robot. We also discussed how the robots in the slideshow appeared to have feelings, just like we do. Some looked happy, while oth - ers appeared sad or lonely. There were also robots who looked very fashionable, and others that appeared to be scary and tough. Students drove the discussion, and the term "personification" came up, which we defined as "when something nonhuman takes on human charac - teristics." What happened next was the moment when I realized that stu - dents were teaching me. Emotional Portraits While the primary objective was to create a robot using geometric shapes, students latched onto the idea that robots are "human-like" ROBOT Megan Giampietro A fashion- inspired robot made with bold lines, bright colors, and geometric shapes. PERSONIFICATIONS E L E M E N T A R Y 36 SEPTEMBER 2019 SchoolArts

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