Our New 'How We Express Ourselves' Unit
G3 have been very busy unpacking lots of the key elements in our new 'How We Express Ourselves' unit of inquiry. We have been un-jumbling our central idea and considering what directions the inquiry might possibly go in. We have also looked at which skills we will be focusing on and trying to improve over the course of the unit. We start with looking at the skill of observing, then we synthesis our ideas before presenting them in many wonderful pieces of art!
As a provocation to get the children really thinking about their own views and ideas about art, we gave them 12 different paintings to observe and consider. These painting ranged dramatically in value (and fame) from the most expensive painting ever sold by Leonard Di Vinci ($450.3M) all the way down to a painting by a boy named James aged 5 from South London (James does not sell his paintings).
The children were not told the name of the artists or the valuations initially. Instead they were given the task of ranking the paintings (in groups) in order based upon the following criteria. 1) Preference 2) Value 3) The ability of the artist. Of course, so much of this is very subjective and there is no actual correct answer. This kind of activity is an excellent starting point for the children to debate and exchange different views.
Interesting enough, most children were drawn to two paintings that had very low valuations. They expressed why and could give reasons for their views and why they were each ranked above the other paintings. It was very interesting when the real valuations were displayed. Did the children still feel the same or did they change their minds? Was value important or was it the beauty that they saw before they knew the price? Some very interesting debates and conversations....
Our 'How We Express Ourselves' central idea is 'The arts are a unique way to communicate a message or a story'. So, an important part of the unit is for the children to work out what message or story they want to tell and explore.
We started this process by getting the children to lay down and listen to relaxing music. They were then asked to start to try and visualise important memories from their lives. They were encouraged to considered all memories that perhaps involved lots of different emotions. Once the children had been given lots of time they each chose 4 key memories to focus on and to document in their scrolls.
For each memory the children recorded a sketch of the memory, why it was powerful to them, what emotions were linked to them, the senses they connect to it and a headline that summed it up in 2-8 words.
Now they have completed their scrolls, these will form the platform for their inquiries in to how they express and tell their stories through a wide variety of arts. Also, the children will start to consider whether they can share the same memory using different forms of art. Are some memories easier to share through certain art forms? Why?
Passion Projects 2018
3C have been thinking about their passion projects from 2017. Which parts were successful and why? Also, they were considering if they wanted to continue their old projects or start a new project.
Some have continued to explore the same areas, whilst others have changed their ideas. We have lots of intriguing new projects in many exciting areas such as:
- How to draw better
- The history of bookmarks
- An exploration into the discipline of the pole vault
- The ultimate Marvel fighter
- Photographing nature
G3 practiced their presenting skills at the Winter Concert last night. The night provided lots of connections to our current unit and a great chance for the children to express themselves in front of a very big audience. There are some photos / videos below from both the dress rehearsal and the concert.
PARENTS - We Need You!
Dear Grade 3 Parents,
G3's current 'How We Express Ourselves' unit is underway. Our central idea is 'The arts are a unique way to communicate a message or a story'. At this stage of the unit we are looking at the different forms of art and how they can be used to express feelings and stories. This is where we would like your help to introduce the children to as many different forms of the arts as possible.
Please sign up to the following google doc if you are willing to offer a small workshop next week to share an art / hobby that you are passionate about that involves creativity. The workshop might only be for 5 minutes or perhaps a lot longer if you have lots to share. Last year we had lots of brave parents who offered a wide range of small demonstrations. Examples included origami, dancing, embroidery, instrument solos, poetry, story telling, showing art and talks about photography.
Thanks for being risk-takers and getting involved in G3's learning. Once you have signed up to a slot one of the G3 teachers will be in touch to see how we can assist you to prepare.
The Grade 3 Team
Creative Street Art
Many of the children really enjoyed this video and the idea that the street artists used the environment as the inspiration for their art work. It is really great to keep pausing the video and to consider what was the starting point that inspired each piece of art and to try and consider what each artist is trying to express and why. Enjoy.
Growth Mindset of the Week
I hope to see some of you next week joining in our week of creativity and expression. If you can not access the google doc to sign up for a workshop, please just email me and we will work out a time.
Have an amazing weekend,
Welcome to the G3 blog.