Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Family Tree....2nd grade

"My mom cried when she saw it."....Jamese

After thinking about ourselves, we expanded our connection to the second target, Family.  This Art Unit was a wonderful exploration into discovering our roots and, sometimes, connections that we didn't even knew we had. 

The Art Unit's design and instructional sequence is multi-faceted, in which various scaffolded mini-lessons build towards achieving a culminating goal.  The overall goal was for students to develop their own art-making process through the development of an individualized sequence, resulting in a mixed-media art piece, representing their 'family tree'.  
Of course, along the way we needed to learn somethings, build on some skills and do some homework.  (It's no longer a surprise that homework for these little guys is repeated occurrence.) 

 For every target, I create a packet to help the students dig through the surface of the theme and really connect to the process.  I might seem like a lot of work (and it is) but this way, we don't just scratch the surface...we drill  a hole to get to the foundation.
The students started the lesson with a little bit of looking and investigating various paintings with with same theme: Trees, and answering questions that encouraged them to compare, contrast, describe and evaluate different styles and processes.  

For homework they had to ask their families for help, from drawing their families portraits to creating a 'web' showing how they connect to their entire families.  This portion of the lesson aimed for students and their parents to sit and talk about their families.

For my students to become more independent thinkers, I needed to create an activity that prompted their own knowledge of  the artistic process (at least the one we use in the art room).  I wanted them to make the choices and I wanted to see how they would organized their own project.  I showed them 3 different representations of trees and encouraged them to choose one as inspiration.  By choosing one, the students needed to take a step back and think how to execute a tree in a similar fashion.

It was their turn to show me "what you got!"

As the students chose their preferred style, they grouped around a dry-erase poster board with an image of the artwork.  As a group (and with much debate and arguing), they needed to figure out the steps needed to create the tree.  I wanted my students to demonstrate their background knowledge (the foundation of what we do with every project) by articulating the artistic process of decision making, problem solving, organizing, adapting and using art materials.

The rest was up to them....
I found my art room transform into 'their' art space.  I became their guide, as these Second graders took their art-making, their learning and their paths in to their own hands, and the results were fantastic.  

Follow the everyday activities of my students and my art room at our school Instagram page 

As always, thanks for dropping by 
and see you soon in the 

xoxo, SMocK you.