SchoolArts Magazine

March 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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Investigating Light This project stemmed from my stu- dents observing an interesting reflec- tion (affectionately nicknamed "The Spider Web") on our classroom wall made by an LCD projector. This expe- rience piqued their interest in light, which then led me to design a project around this topic. I encouraged them to do research using a variety of artis- tic processes and materials. Drawing, Sculpting, Experimenting Students learned about opacity by drawing shadows of objects found on the school playground; explored luminosity using long-exposure pho - tography; experimented with reflec- tivity by creating foil-relief works; a nd investigated the concept of trans- parency as they constructed sculp- tures out of transparent containers, b ottles, and tubes. Light Journals Students took on the role of light sci- entists and artists as they documented t heir ongoing learning in their jour- nals. They were able to graphically r epresent and describe their observa- tions and discoveries about light. For e xample, following an investigation of prisms, students drew and wrote about the concept of refraction. Their light journals served as both a scientific notebook and artist sketchbook. Making Learning Visible At the conclusion of the project, our class organized an interactive light-show exhibit to showcase their shadow drawings and transparent sculptures. This was also an oppor- tunity to educate the greater school community. There were a variety of installations, including an experimen- tation area for families to take part in. Hands-on activities used overhead projectors and light boxes. There was even a "mirror tent" and light tunnel constructed by parents. T he exhibit was a great way to con- clude the project as it exemplified the remarkable artistic and scientific skills of my students. More importantly, it made visible the interdisciplinary Students took on the role of light scientists and artists as the ocumented their ongoing learning in their journals. learning that occurred throughout the project, utilizing art as a primary vehi cle for communication. Ryan Kurada is a first-grade teacher at University Elementary School in Rohnert Park, California. rkurada@icloud.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 www.rklearningstudio.com/ SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 41

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