We began by looking at the work of masters like Van Gogh, and appreciating how their techniques, styles, and interests differ. After exploring, discussing, and critiquing a piece of artwork and its various components, students were given opportunities to experiment with a variety of materials and techniques (i.e. texture, colour mixing, shape, collage, etc.).
Students were then interviewed about their creations: what inspired them, what tools they used, the challenges they ran into and how they solved them, and the stories behind their artwork. For example, upon asking one student where she got the idea for her collage she answered, “I dreamed about it, I dreamed I was flying on a rocket ship”.
We have found this to be an invaluable process in our classroom, as it has challenged students to think critically about process and product, what matters most to them, and to engage in conversations with their ‘audience’. This is an exciting move away from ‘cut and paste’ crafts, towards masterpieces that make statements and represent authentic learning!
Heather Miller and Vanessa Fraser (@KinderYYC) love to play, laugh, learn and wonder alongside their students every day.