SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2012

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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There was ownership and pride right away, which, of course, sparked the desire to continue the child's creation and take it to the next level. The fact that my students knew that the kindergartners would see the two creations together also inspired them to do the best job that they could. Many of my students told me that the experience took them back to their first memories of creating art, when they felt free to draw without the fear of someone judging their work. As each final product was turned in, I added it to a display wall, which included each kindergarten monster with the high school interpretation next to it. Besides oil paintings, collages, oil pastels, and mixed media, some students created ceramic sculptures of the monsters. The project was such a refreshing undertaking for my high school students who were overwhelmed with multiple AP courses, college essays and applications, and completing AP art portfolios. Instead of hearing, "When will I get my artwork back?" they asked, "When will my kindergartner get to see the art that I created for their monster?" The experience was amazing and unforgettable for all involved. Back in the Elementary Artroom (Mary Beth) When the artwork arrived back to our elementary school, the kindergartners were ecstatic. They could not wait to see the "big kid" interpretations of their drawings. Their sense of ownership was greater than ever before as the pieces came out of the box. "That's my monster!" was shouted out a few times that class period. Students were amazed by the artistic skills of the high schoolers and it was wonderful for them to see how, with practice, they would one day be capable of creating work that looked "super-real." Collaboration The collaboration aspect of this unit was probably our favorite part, as we communicated back and forth. It opened up endless possibilities for future collaborations. As an elementary teacher, I am hoping to continue doing this project on a local level, and I am looking forward to the day when my first Monster Engine group of kindergartners are the high schoolers interpreting kindergarten work. Editor's Note: Posting both the process and the finished work online is an effective way to communicate the collaborative and inspirational aspects of art education to the public. Mary Beth Kopacz is an elementary art teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Wayne, New Jersey. She has recently been recognized as the Middle School Art Teacher of the Year for Baltimore County Public Schools and the Middle School Art Educator of the Year for the state of Maryland. meronayne@aol.com Windy Spiridigliozzi is an art teacher at Catonsville High in Baltimore, Maryland. wspiridigliozzi@bcps.org national standard Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks. Web links www.davedevries.com thejfkartroom.blogspot.com www.edline.net/pages/Catonsville_ HS/The_ Arts/NAHS__ National_ Art_ Honor_ Society schoolartsonline.com 21

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