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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and could have feelings. They pro- ceeded to create robots from geomet- ric shapes that inexplicably became tender self-portraits, each resembling the child, and each conveying a dif - ferent emotion or feeling. Whether drawn or collaged, the artworks were beautifully expressive, and truly revealing of myriad emotions includ - ing vulnerability, confidence, loneli- ness, joy, and fear. It is well-known that art is a vehicle for self-expression, and for some children, images can express what words cannot. I have found this to be especially true with our English-language learner population. Children's artworks powerfully and freely communicate their intricate thought processes, breaking down the complex barriers of spoken lan - guage with which many struggle. Realizations In reflecting on this lesson, I real- ized I started with my usual teach- ing strategy: "I do, You do, We do" model, where I present a slideshow and directions, conduct a demonstra - tion, then allow students to begin their own work. Students took the lesson in an unexpected and surpris - ing inquiry-based direction, posing questions about robots and personi - fication and working collaboratively with each other to explore ideas and solve problems, such as how to incor - porate geometric shapes and make the robot more human in appearance and expression. This lesson became an important reminder of how thoughtful chil - dren can be and the importance of Students latched onto the idea that robots are "human-like" and could have feelings. teaching to the affective domain of Bloom's Taxonomy, where the emo - tions play a key role in the learning experience. Megan Giampietro is an art teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. mgiampi- etro @ These expressive, collaged robots evoke a feeling of happiness and joy. N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Organize and develop artis- tic ideas and work. W E B L I N K Robot math: www.adventure-in-a-box. com/robot-math-printable-game-of- art-geometric-shapes-for-kids/ SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 37

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