SchoolArts Magazine

OCT 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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Elementary Studio Lesson Creative reUse Stacking Bricks We were not sure how we were going to put the bricks together in one place, so we decided that we needed a box frame. We found out that the physical education teacher had some scrap wood leftover from a home project and showed up the next day with a box built and ready for us. We started filling it up, brick by brick, so that students could see the progress and keep moving forward. It became a daily challenge to fill the box. Students rearranged the bricks so that the next stacks would fill in all the holes. The project ended up taking roughly three class sessions to complete. We used just over 240 magazines and one skein of yarn. The piece This project taught students about imagination, patience, effort, and contributing your best to the greater good. Stacy Sturgell O ne day, while working on a monochromatic painting lesson, my student intern and I casually started talking to our fourth- and fifth-grade students about recycled art and creativity with unusual materials. This casual conversation quickly turned into Internet research and a ball of creative fire. That ball of fire turned into a lesson that taught students not only about creative reuse, but also about imagination, patience, effort, and contributing your best to the greater good. Old Materials, New Perspective Our objective, in our "green" school, was to create a site-specific installation using stacks of recycled magazines bound together into "bricks." The sculpture would inspire the viewer to look at common materials from a new perspective. And we were excited that our principal agreed to place the finished installation in the school office. Tearing and Folding To start the project, students collected stacks of old magazines, from which they tore or cut pages and folded them into fourths. The folded pages were collected in shoebox tubs, then the stacks were bound together with yarn that was donated by a parent. Classes started competing to see which one could fold the most "bricks." When we started the project, we planned to make all of the bricks the same thickness, but we ended up just binding random-sized stacks. itself is very heavy—it took two grown men to carry it to the front office where it now lives on display behind the front desk. Community leaders, parents, administrators, and other visitors to our building regularly comment and compliment the piece and are surprised when they find out it was made by our students and some creative reuse! Stacy Sturgell is an art teacher at Cross Timbers Elementary School in Denton, Texas. ssturgell@dentonisd.org NatioNal StaNdard Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories. Web liNk bit.ly/a3WMHA schoolartsonline.com 27

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