SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 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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They cut into the square from all sides, pulling to the outside what was cut away. This activity is sometimes called "expansion of the square" and is a simple task that creates stunning results. This is also an excellent warm-up that allows students to get used to the knife and to gain confidence in their ability to come up with strong compositions. Younger students can use scissors in place of X-Acto knives. Paper Stories After practicing their paper cutting skills, students brainstormed what their own paper stories might be. They created thumbnails in their sketchbooks and talked with one another about their proposed designs. The process recorded in their sketchbooks helps me (and them) to understand what it is they are trying to communicate. Some paper stories are simple like a haiku, and others are more complex. Next, I gave each student a sheet of 22 x 34" (56 x 56 cm) black card paper with which to cut their designs. I told them that there are no right ways or wrong ways to complete this project—only thoughtful ways. When the work was complete, I asked students to write a paragraph on the meaning behind their designs. My students love this unit; it allows lots of room for interpretation and creativity. One of my former foundations students used paper cuts this year as the main medium in her twoyear-long investigation, and the cover of our recent school bulletin featured a student paper story. This inspired everyone. My students are proud that they have discovered a beautiful way to tell their own stories. Kendra Farrell is an art teacher at the International School of Beijing and is the founder of the Ning site, Asia Region Art Educators. NaTioNal STaNdard Students create artworks that use organizational principles and functions to solve specific visual arts problems. WeB liNkS coron_stories_cut_from_paper.html Kristine. Irina. 23

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