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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Page 38 of 54

Early Childhood Studio Lesson BeautifulStuff Cathy Weisman Topal a nyone who has ever had a engage toddler knows that they Explain to students that artists see often prefer to play with possibilities for expression in everyday things taken from kitchen objects and experiences. Share and discabinets rather than commercial toys. cuss the work of artists such as John A child's desire to manipulate and Dahlsen, Bernard Pras, and Sarah-Jane experiment with objects is a great van der Westhuizen, who use found motivator for the artroom. This is a materials in their work. guiding principle of Reggio Emilia, Italy schools, which put their focus on explore the interests of the individual child As a way to see what they have and and process, not product. to get organized, tell students that To facilitate playing with found they are going to explore collections materials, continually collect nonof objects as a group. Give each table toxic objects such a bag or box of as bottle caps, objects and ask stuA child's desire to plastic containmanipulate and experiment dents to set out the ers, buttons, yarn, materials on their with objects is a great small toys; natural tables in such a objects such as nuts, motivator for the artroom. way that others can branches, leaves, appreciate them. and rocks. Find out if your city or Have students look at all the materitown has a recycling center that will als and think about ways they could provide teachers with such materials. be sorted. Ask your students' parents to collect items, as well. You could post a list of Create possible materials on your school web- With the class, brainstorm a list of site. Now start playing around with categories (particular colors, shiny materials! stuff, metal stuff, wood stuff, plasContinued on page 38. 34 October 2013 SchoolArts Objectives When sorting and working with found materials, young artists will: • see potential in everyday discarded objects. • select and arrange objects using their natural aesthetic preferences. • experiment with different arrangements. • use the language of visual arts to explain their arrangement. • practice reusing and recycling. • practice interpersonal skills and communication. Materials • clean found and discarded materials • 12 x 18" (30 x 46 cm) white paper • clear, white, or black containers or boxes • index cards • pencils • fine-line markers

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