SchoolArts Magazine

December 2015

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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created a drawing to share with our students in an old blank ledger book we had procured. Students found this to be fascinating and were anxious to begin making their own ledger art- works. Collaging the Background Students began by collaging a variety of torn scraps of paper together onto large sheets of white drawing paper. These scraps included copies of led - ger pages, notebook paper, and histor- ical documents in the public domain. Some students had difficulty adher - ing the edges of the paper together, but as they worked it became easier for them. Inspirational Resources The rich history of ledger art serves as a perfect jumping-off point for a lesson on storytelling. We began by sharing The Ledger Book of Thomas Blue Eagle by Gay Matthaei and Jewel Grutman, along with some online images. We chose a few pictures and asked our fifth-grade students to share their perceptions of what was occur- ring in them. In addition, we each Writing Personal Stories Next, students wrote their personal stories and shared them with us prior to writing them on the backs of their collaged papers and before drawing any images. They used their stories for reference while they created their illustrations separately on copies of ledger paper. After much deliberation, we con- cluded that having students use a fresh sheet of paper for their illustra - tions would allow them to create drawings with better detail than those that had lumps and bumps caused by the layers of paper and glue. Color was added using colored pencils and crayons, and fine-point permanent markers were used to highlight and detail important aspects of the drawings. Finally, stu- dents mounted their completed draw- ings on their collaged papers. Reflections Students were excited and engaged every day of this project. Seeing Michael Horse's video inspired them to ask questions and further explore the content, and they referenced The Ledger Book of Thomas Blue Eagle numerous times. They enjoyed the thought process and many requested time to create a second piece, while others created more drawings in the style of the ledger artists in their personal notebooks. Each drawing offered insight into each student's thoughts and experiences. Patricia Martinez and Melanie Robinson are teachers at Cedar Springs Elementary in House Springs, Missouri. p.cele.marti@, N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K stories Opposite page: Alexis, grade five. Top: Katelyn, grade five. Bottom: Lily, grade five. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 33 The rich histor f ledger art serves as a perfect jumping-off point for a lesson on stor telling.

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