November 2018

Nature

The lessons and articles in this issue will inspire you to take students outdoors and find joy in nature. Students learn about sound and tone and develop mixed-media wind chimes; draw landscapes that depict foreground, middle ground, and background; celebrate the changing seasons with year-round flora sketching in an outdoor “art garden,” and more.

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Highlights From This Issue

Editor's Letter
Editor's Letter

Editor's Letter

Is nature a welcome guest in your artroom? I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by woods, and my father was a scoutmaster who taught me to look closely at nature. As an art teacher, I always tried to either bring nature into the artroom or take my students outside in it. Today, more than ever, we need to help our students find joy in nature.

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Collaborative Noise Mobiles
Early Childhood

Collaborative Noise Mobiles

On a recent Pennsylvania Art Education Association trip to Cuba, our small group of art teachers visited the Santander family’s “Casa Chichi” pottery house. The Santanders are a family of potters who have been making pottery in Trinidad since the mid-nineteenth century, passing their skills from generation to generation.

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Mixed-Media Treescapes
Elementary

Mixed-Media Treescapes

I take my third-grade students outdoors almost anytime our New England weather permits. We travel around our school campus doing observational drawings of trees that are special to our school’s history and trees that are iconic of the New England landscape. I want my students to know what is in the natural world they will someday be responsible for and give them opportunities to practice drawing what they see.

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Radial Designs from Nature
Elementary

Radial Designs from Nature

Exploring art through nature provides opportunities for students to discover and use nature as a medium. The following radial design lesson encourages careful observation of local ecology such as leaves, flowers, stones, pinecones, berries, and other natural found objects. This lesson was done within a unit of study focused on land art and art made from nature, specifically the art of Andy Goldsworthy.

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A Year in the Life of an Art Garden
Middle School

A Year in the Life of an Art Garden

Some of my students’ best creative moments happen when we step outside of our four-walled classroom. That’s why I put nature at the center of my art curriculum. When my seventh- and eighth-graders engage with their natural surroundings, they step into a place of empathy and awareness.

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Starfish: Ocean Treasures
Middle School

Starfish: Ocean Treasures

The ocean offers an abundance of amazing subjects to motivate your students in the artroom—a virtual treasure chest of colors, fascinating plants, and animal life to explore. Because starfish are found in all oceans of the world and have an amazing 1,800 different species, they present a great opportunity to integrate art and science.

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What Are You Thankful For?
High School

What Are You Thankful For?

The motivation for this project came a number of years ago at a family gathering when a relative gave each of us a blank journal. She asked us to write down five things we were thankful for each day for an entire year.

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Anatomical Collage
High School

Anatomical Collage

Working to revamp my anatomy unit, my plan was to help students understand the basic anatomy of the human body, transition into body mechanics, sketch to capture a gesture, and finally, to work towards a full rendering of a figure in pose.

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Facing the Challenges of Cardboard
The Open Art Room

Facing the Challenges of Cardboard

Art teachers love free materials, and I’m no exception. Cardboard is free and plentiful, which should make it a perfect medium. Unfortunately, cardboard can be difficult to cut and hard to work with. This year I decided to invest in cardboard cutters, and it’s made a huge difference. I selected a model with a dull tip, a sturdy handle, and serrated edges that cut through boxes with ease and accuracy.

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Beth Cavener: Emotive Anthropomorphism
Looking & Learning

Beth Cavener: Emotive Anthropomorphism

Beth Cavener explores the connection between animal instincts and human emotions through exquisitely sculpted clay sculptures. Often working on a large scale, she uses a combination of traditional ceramic techniques and innovative methods to create her emotional and dramatic works.

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