SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2013

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 41 of 56

Elementary Studio Lesson ights r StarOy rNhautauqua ve C Teresa Euken I was fascinated and curious when I saw a self-portrait of Chicagobased artist Mary Ellen Croteau made from bottle caps. I quickly started looking for similar projects online. Was this something that could be incorporated into my elementary art program? Although I had been teaching for twenty-six years in an elementary classroom setting, this was my first year as a K–5 art instructor. I was a little nervous as to 20 May/June 2013 whether I would be able to pull off this huge mural project. Collecting Caps I teach in two buildings, so we would have to make two murals. I knew that I was going to have to ask our community of 5,700 to help with the collection of bottle caps. I sent fliers home with every student explaining the project we were about to embrace. I put large collection tubs in each school and asked businesses and groceries if they would be willing to house collection tubs. The local newspaper even wrote an article to let our residents know about our endeavors. We needed as many shapes, sizes, and colors as we could possibly get our hands on. The caps could be from soda bottles, milk jugs, juice bottles, frosting tubs, spray paint cans, mustard caps, fabric softener lids, and so on. Recycling Trash to Treasure This was a great opportunity to learn about the importance of recycling. SchoolArts Continued from page 21. instruction on safety. The fourth and fifth graders were allowed to glue the bottle caps on by themselves in small groups of three or four. The kindergarten through third graders pulled the trigger while I held the glue gun. Surprisingly enough, the only one to get burned (just a little) was me! Putting the bottle caps on was a time-consuming process, but students never complained. Some even volunteered to stay after school and skip recess to work on it. They loved watching their masterpieces come together. Final Thoughts I was amazed watching my students' creativity flourish while working on these projects. I cannot put into words the magnitude of all that was experienced while working on this project. We learned about recycling and protecting our environment. We learned about the rich history of our community. But perhaps the greatest learning experience of all in this adventure was how our community came together to collect the thousands of bottle caps needed to create this beautiful, awe-inspiring piece of artwork. The response from both parents and community has been overwhelming. Teresa Euken is an art teacher for the Red Oak Community Schools in Red Oak, Iowa. NatioNal StaNdard Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning. Web Changing Lives through FOLK ART Join SchoolArts editor Nancy Walkup and Stevie Mack of CRIZMAC Art & Cultural Materials for two culture-based seminars in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2013: Amazing travel opportunities for summer 2013! Celebrating Pueblo Art and Culture, July 3–9, 2013 Meet and work with Pueblo artists, as well as visit museums and other cultural sites. Folk Art Extravaganza, July 10–16, 2013 Meet and work with incredible folk artists, participate in multiple hands-on activities, enjoy museum visits, and attend the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. liNk mrseukensartmooseum.wordpress. com Visit for registration and further details. 39

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