Wednesday, February 27, 2013

exploring antARcTica......

3rd grade Travellers have arrived at the bottom of the world!
Yianna and Helios recently sent their suitcases to my wondering and excited students. 
Where in the world would we end up next???  ANTARCTICA, of course.  With a little imaginationa and a bit of magic my students were transported to the snow caps icebergs of the South Pole.  In the suitcase we found a down red vest, enormous gloves and ziploc bags full of glaciel ice and snow from Antarctica.  Of course, the ice and snow "melted" on its way to Palatine. 

The question still remained....are you upside down on the South Pole? 
This question began a very long and argumentative debate that divided the art room in half.  It was super amazing to see my students stand up, give their opinion and support with reasoned , reflective thought.  It was awesome.
Antarctica is full of natural beauty that lends to sculpture.  Our influence came from the immense icebergs and ice sculptors from around the world.   We decided to look at Antarctica through an abstract lens and explore sculpture, individually and as a team of explorers.  

The individual art project focused on creating a sculpture using a white piece of construction paper, a smaller piece of poster board, scissors and glue sticks.  The students need to use all of the white sheet of paper on create their own Antarctica floating around in the blue water.  Obviously, because it's an island.....;-)  For inspiration, we looked at various paper sculptures and the work of Alexander Calder.  His large sculpture installations are perfect examples of how simple paper can bend and twist into caves, slides and roller coasters.      

9x12 blue poster board,
12x18 white construction paper, scissors, glue sticks

What to do:
students explored...
They cut, folded, twisted and shaped pieces of paper using their imagination and creativity.  They created their own little white worlds, surrounded by a blue ocean.  

The team project was divided into three days, comprised of construction, gauzing and painting.  As team of geographical explorers, each group had to "re-create" the land they experienced.  From the caves to the ice-bergs to the mountains to the glaciers...
Being a group project the objective of the part of the lesson focused on how each student cooperated, shared, and solved team issues without much help from their team leader (me).  "Figure it out" was a phrase I used from time to time ;-)

DAY ONE:  Construction                      
The geographical explorers constructed the basic structures of their icy worlds.  They used toilet paper tubes, popsicle sticks, egg cartons, cardboard, pipe cleaners, tape, glue...whatever it took to get their mental image to come to life. 

plaster gauze
There is nothing like rolling up your sleeves and getting a little dirty.  The geographical explorers used plaster gauze (the stuff for casts) and covered their armatures.  As the art class progressed, the abstract landscapes began to take form, slowly exposing mountains, caves and icebergs.

 DAY FOUR: painting  
We decided that Antarctica needed to be visited by a few artists.  The teams of geographical explorers put on their painting smocks and grabbed their brushes.  The goal was to create a new world from their Antarcticas. 

 DAY FIVE: documenting
After such an amazing adventure there is nothing left to do than document all the events that imaginatively happened while pretending to be an inch tall and walking around this new land full of wonder and magic!  OF COURSE! The two concluding parts, before sending off our suitcases to Yianna and Helios was to write them a postcard, describing our adventure and what we learned, drawing their new land and, of course, writing a short narrative of their magical adventure.



It was an amazing adventure, exploring the vast and beautiful continent of Antarctica.  With red noses and frosted hats, we said "brrrr....good bye, we're out of here!"
The question still remains.... 
"Where are we going next?"

see you back in the 

xoxo, SMocK you.