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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Page 38 of 54

34 DECEMBER 2015 SchoolArts M I D D L E S C H O O L them. Students selected artworks they wanted to recreate in clay and printed out color photos of their cho - sen landscapes. Back in class, on a planning work- sheet, students drew three different versions of how they could transform the painting into a raised clay sculp- ture. Color was added to the best drawing for teacher approval before students began working with the clay. Modeling the Clay Students used rolling pins to flatten clay slabs enough to fit in a Styrofoam tray, then trimmed them to fit. They used different modeling techniques to build up layers, textures, and details on the slabs, attaching them with clay slip. When the slabs were complete, students removed them from the trays, smoothed out the edges, and left them to dry on a flat surface. The forms were fired in a kiln when they were completely dry. Painting Landscapes After the pieces were fired, students painted them with acrylic paints, T his past semester, I took a risk and developed a new clay project for my eighth-grade students. They were told that a prototype lesson was being developed, and that they would be part of the experiment. My clay lesson for this grade usually involves creating clay food objects. This time I wanted to chal- lenge students further by having them create bas-relief sculptures inspired by the artwork of famous landscape painters of the nineteenth and twenti- eth centuries. Research and Planning I took students to the computer lab to research landscape painters and to answer any questions they had about Bas-Relief Randall Smith I wanted to challenge students b aving them create bas-relief sculptures inspired b the artwork of famous landscape painters. LANDSCAPES using their color printouts as a refer- ence. The objective was to see if they could match the painting style and technique of the landscape artist they had selected. Students were graded on the clay pieces using a rubric. I was so impressed with my class's work that I took photos of the pieces along with the color printouts they worked from to use in a future pre - sentation. In the end, this lesson gave students a feeling of accomplish - ment. They successfully created something very valuable and person - ally meaningful. Randall Smith is an art teacher at North Haven Middle School in North Haven, Connecticut. smith.randall@ northhaven. 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 painting

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