SchoolArts Magazine

February 2017

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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Anything is possible . . . one stroke at a time. ™ ® An easy to learn way to create beautiful images with repetitive patterns. Discover the empowering qualities of the Zentangle Method and share with your students! NEW! 213 Piece Black Tile Classroom Pack #50008 #50009 193 Piece White Tile Classroom Pack CONTINUED FROM PAGE 37. 56 FEBRUARY 2017 SchoolArts peer's art, and one thing they liked or would like to change about their own. Students were fully engaged from the first moment of this project and, utilizing what they learned, created thoughtful artworks about the Harlem Renaissance. Amy Zschaber is a visual and performing art/STEAM coordina- tor at the Stanislaus County Office of Education in Modesto, California. 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 www.brainpop.com/socialstudies/ushistory/harlemrenais- sance/ B e-bop de-be-bop de-be-bop do! The sounds jangled out in bro- ken rhythms and ecstatic joy across my classroom as first- grade artists wiggled, spun, jumped, kicked, and simply moved to the jazz music of Louis Armstrong. One voice cried, "Look! I'm moving just like the jazz ladies did to Duke Ellington!" Another mimed his fingers in the air, "And, I'm playin' the saxophone!" We were knee-deep in our exploration of the Harlem Renaissance, and students were fully immersed. At first glance, it would seem introducing the Harlem Renaissance to six- and seven-year-olds might be overwhelming. In truth, they are more than capable of learning about this amazing time period. The Har- lem Renaissance, a full-on visual and performing arts movement, offers art educators the unique opportunity to integrate culturally relevant peda- gogy, literacy, music, dance, and his- tory with visual arts. Engaging Students It is vital to me that students enjoy learning. I hooked them by playing a 1933 video of Bessie Dudley and Florence Hill dancing to music led by Duke Ellington. I provided them with prompts such as, "What do you see?" "Why are these people dancing?" and "Do you see any moves we use today?" They observed the clothing, movements, instruments, and sounds they saw. Students today are accustomed to looking, observing, and sitting still. Less familiar is the request to kineti- cally mimic and/or interpret observa- tions. Yet for many younger students, movement is directly linked to deeper memory and meaning. After outlin- ing some safety procedures, I played "Ain't Misbehavin'" by Fats Waller. I asked students to listen for twenty seconds and then make movements based on what they heard. When they were finished, I asked them to reflect on their movements and emotions. "Reading" Art (and Books) Whenever possible, I like to mirror the student practice of reading a book by asking them to "read" an artwork. Students examined the artwork Out Chorus by Harlem Renaissance art- ist Romare Bearden and answered questions beginning with Who, What, When, Where, and Why. We followed with The Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt, a children's book that incorporates jazz, counting, poetry, rhythm, and onomatopoeia. I read out loud and students eagerly read along, helping me make the sounds from the book. Miss Nina, a jazz musician (www.mymissnina.com), composed music to accompany The Jazz Man. I played a video of Miss Nina sing- ing her version of The Jazz Man, and students discussed how words can become sounds and how sounds can become music. After these activities, I projected images from The Jazz Man and Out Chorus at the same time, and stu- dents compared and contrasted the two images using the words "same" and "different." This discussion led to an understanding that artists make important choices, and the materials used to make art are important, too. Jazz Babies Students reviewed the different move- ments they made while dancing to jazz. I led a directed drawing wherein students used markers to draw a boy or girl "jazz baby" on white paper. I made sure to emphasize that anyone could draw any gender in either a dress or suit. While drawing, we dis- cussed what we saw in the music vid- eos, as well as Out Chorus and The Jazz Man. I encouraged students to add features to their jazz babies such as instruments and outfits. When fin- ished, students cut out their drawings. In order to create a dynamic back- ground for the jazz babies, I recycled several papers. First, I reused "goos" (good on one side) paper and printed jazz sheet music on it. Second, I cut up the scratch paper placemats stu- dents used for messy projects. Stu- dents cut the sheet music into strips and glued it down in a border-like design onto construction paper. They then glued down the scratch paper and a small rectangle of yellow paper. The jazz babies were glued to the yel- low paper and, as a finishing touch, students used markers to add move- ment lines, music notes, and a name. Thoughtful Works Students were proud of their art and eager to share it with friends. They shared one thing they liked about a Top left: Riley Gaskill, grade one. Bottom left: Xavier Vallance, grade one. Top right: Emma Green, grade one. Bottom right: Hope Wells, grade one. Sean Tate, grade one. 36 FEBRUARY 2017 SchoolArts SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 37 E A R L Y C H I L D H O O D & the Harlem Renaissance Amy Zschaber The Harlem Renaissance offers art educators the unique opportunit o integrate culturall relevant pedagog , literac , music, dance, and histor ith visual arts. BABIES CONTINUED ON PAGE 56. JAZZ that they no longer felt the need to save certain objects anymore because the memory associated was safely col- lected in their archive project. This project helps students to become a bit more con- ceptual with their work, and the meaningful, personal con- nection to their art is a great motivational tool. From start to f inish, this piece never fails to bring a group of students together as a class, and it is by far my favorite lesson. Kari Giordano teaches art to grades 7–12 at Mount Everett Regional School in Sheffield, Massachusetts. giordano.kari@ gmail.com N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Presenting: Interpreting and sharing artistic work. W E B L I N K artanddesigned.weebly.com CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25. 24 FEBRUARY 2017 SchoolArts SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 25 H I G H S C H O O L Objects to Archive I encourage students to collect the objects that are most meaningful to them and those that tell the most accurate stories. Students under- stand that they are not limited to 3D objects, but can photograph spaces, people, and places as well. We discuss methods of archiving their memories using 2D methods and what happens when we transform 3D objects into 2D replications. Working with Photography I give a class demonstration using a handmade backdrop and simple stu- dio lighting. For our setup, we tape a piece of paper to the wall, allowing it to curve gently to the table surface without a fold or crease. Two pop-up desk lamps are used to create depth within the frame and to ensure that shadows are not distracting from the object. After taking their photos, students edit them to ensure consistent expo- sure, white balance, and cropping proportions. We discuss introductory product photography methods and career choices within commercial photography. Presentation Students are encouraged to organize the photographs of their objects in any way that is meaningful and will help archive their stories. With the only limitations being available materials, students choose the format that their collections form. Final products range from sculptures, mobiles, and books to more functional objects such as quilts and sweatshirts. Following the project, some students have shared misinterpreted? How can we mold our own stories now, to leave a legacy that is true to our own voices? Sharing Mementos These thoughts led to an archive project with my photography class. I begin by displaying a controlled portion of my high-school memory box to students. This glimpse into who I was at their age typically draws them in. Students appreciate being let into my world, which helps to create the mutual respect we all know is important. Sharing my objects seamlessly segues into the discussion of memo- ries and legacy. We discuss what the objects we leave behind can say about individuals and larger groups of people, including examples of his- torical remnants of societies such as Pompeii. I encourage students to think about the memories that they are collecting as they go through high school, and to ponder how these thoughts might evolve as they age. Will the things that are important to them now, always be? My goal is for students to under- stand that the choices they make now may affect them later in life, and to decide which poor decisions may not be worth making. Students may find that they become more mindful about their lives in the present instead of merely looking back with broader insight and wisdom much later, as most of us do. L ike many people, I have a habit of saving the objects that hold a special meaning to me. I hadn't realized the extent of my collec- tion until I bought my own home and boxes of things being housed in my mother's attic were suddenly returned to my ownership. As I looked through my treasures, mainly from my high-school and col- lege years, memories came flooding back. Events that I hadn't thought of in years were suddenly as clear and vivid in my mind as though they occurred yesterday. I was confronted with old heartaches and comforted by the thoughts of lifelong friends. After soaking in the memories for some time, I returned the objects to their boxes and stored them in my once-empty basement. I enter- tained the thought of just getting rid of everything, but for some rea- son, I couldn't; the fear of losing the attached memories was too strong. Retaining Memories Most people save things for the same reason I do: to retain the memories associated with them. People deal- ing with loss often sort through the treasures of loved ones who have passed without truly understand- ing what value these objects held for that person. In a way, our possessions become a part of a storytelling legacy for us once we are gone. They are the things that help identify a person and explain who we are. I often think about the story that my own objects will tell. What embarrassing secrets will suddenly be uncovered when someone finds old notes from high school that I've been saving all these years? Will they tell a complete story, or one that might be THE LEGACY Kari Giordano In a wa , our possessions become a part of a stor - telling legac or us once we are gone. OF OBJECTS CONTINUED ON PAGE 58.

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