Day 1:Breaking ground
Project/Unit description: This semester in art class, students will be exploring the concept of functional design, the research/planning process, and exploration of artistic materials while they collaboratively build a zoo. Over the course of this unit students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of 3-D and 2-D art materials while they focus on creating an animal conscious habitat for the animal they chose to contribute to the class zoo. With an emphasis on sequential and informed planning, students will explore their own creativity while collaborating to create an animal friendly zoo full of mystical creatures. To begin, this lesson was aimed at getting the students to come up with ideas. Their primary focus was to develop those ideas and research what all they needed to consider when creating their creature and its environment. This lesson primarily took place in the library, where they could pick out books that related to their creature and its environment.
Inquiry/ Learning Target:
Todays learning objectives…
- prior knowledge
- artistic intention
- transferring observation to visual production
Art focus for the day is exploring visual record keeping with 2-D mediums.
Students recorded their research about animal features and environment in their sketchbooks. Also, they recorded adjectives about the textures they observed as well as what that meant about the creatures environment. With every feature a student wants to include in their animal or in their enclosure, they are required to explain to the teachers the function or connection behind why they decided to include that specific texture.
The picture to the left depicts the teacher (Melanie) helping a student determine what kind of vegetation her animal will eat and the climate of her creatures environment. For this particular student, her animal lived in the jungle., Books on the Amazon Rainforest and it's inhabitants were tools she considered to enhance her knowledge about the subject
After the students picked out books that related to their creature/environment, they began to take notes in their sketchbook. This was used for developing ideas and helping them consider what they needed during their art making processes. After they had their notes gathered, the teachers had the students do rough sketches of their creature and their environments in their sketchbooks. Many of the students chose to do mystical/imaginary creatures. Some creatures had many different animal parts. For example "Brain-zilla" was a combination of an enormous brain and the fictional creature Godzilla. Whereas some students chose to go with actual animals that lived in entirely different climates. For instance, a penguin that lived in the jungle instead of the Arctic.
Here the student is researching about Black Mambas. His fascination with the deadly snake was relevant and obvious during the research period. Initially it was a tug-a-war contest between the student and teacher. Meaning the student believed he knew everything he could about the Black Mamba, and it was the teachers' goal to show them that he probably didn't. By asking questions, the student realized he did not know everything about their climate and it's diet. These were good beginning points to show that there is always room to learn something new. The teachers showed the importance of keeping an open mind and to be able to learn something new, even when you believe there is nothing new to learn about.
This picture shows the importance of research and note taking, even when it deals with subjects like art. This was emphasized throughout the lesson; "Many times artists are like scientists by the way they research before delving into the processes." By researching about a topic before hand it enables the student to react to problems and come up with solutions much more effectively then not researching. This method of research also enabled the students to think for themselves, by using the information gathered and expand upon their ideas to create new ones.
This is a picture of a worksheet the students completed. The questions were kept basic, to allow the students room to come up with ideas and manipulate those ideas to fit pr-existing/new ideas. This was used as an assessment to check for prior knowledge and new found knowledge. by having information like this, the teachers were able to adapt their lessons according to the students needs. For example, many of the students' creatures' had multiple body parts ranging in a variety of textures, so the teachers geared the next lesson towards developing textures and the many different forms of texture