February 2020

Design

Art teachers explore creative ways to teach design thinking concepts in a variety of media. Students observe a sculpture at an art museum and get inspired to create imaginative oversized coin reliefs, design and develop functional fashion accessories, deconstruct the classic color wheel to create contemporary compositions, design coordinated logos and business cards for an original restaurant, and more.

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Highlights From This Issue

Editor's Letter
Editor's Letter

Editor's Letter

The concept of design thinking is a process for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues based around the building up of ideas. It is about the design of objects, information, environments, and experiences.

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CHA-CHING: Large-Scale Currency
Early Childhood

CHA-CHING: Large-Scale Currency

My five- and six-year-old students recently visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A walk through the museum’s sculpture garden led us to an encounter with Giant Three- Way Plug (Cube Tap) by one of my favorite contemporary artists, Claes Oldenburg.

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Contemporary Color Wheels
Elementary

Contemporary Color Wheels

The color wheel is a staple in the artroom from elementary through high school and beyond. How can we take something that is familiar—that can easily become stagnant—to a new and exciting level? This lesson is an engaging take on exploring the color wheel while using it to make an original work of art.

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Celebrating Student Creativity
Elementary

Celebrating Student Creativity

When you walk into an elementary school, student art should be the first thing that welcomes you, providing a joyful path to follow. I wanted students to decorate our walls and floor spaces to make it evident that we are an elementary school that celebrates our students’ creativity.

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Fabulous Accessories
Middle School

Fabulous Accessories

I always look for strange and unusual art to share with my middle-school students—they love all that is peculiar. For this lesson, I shared designs by Fred Butler, a London-based designer who creates engaging props and accessories for fashion stylists. Butler’s art challenged my students and me to look at fashion accessories in a new way.

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Drawing in the Round
Middle School

Drawing in the Round

Drawing on a cylindrical curved surface such as a paper cup has endless possibilities and creative results. Drawing on a 3D surface has its unique challenges and students learn, improve, and grow from such an experience. This is an open-ended project that you can adapt as desired, emphasizing different themes or techniques each time you present it.

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Exploring Contemporary Issues through Poster Design
High School

Exploring Contemporary Issues through Poster Design

As an International Baccalaureate high school with a mission statement of “Developing inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect,” I decided to create a protest poster lesson for my Digital Art and Design students.

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Cooking Up a Design
High School

Cooking Up a Design

A heavy focus of my art program is helping students see that a career in the arts doesn’t mean you are living in a van by the beach selling paintings of sunsets (not that there’s anything wrong with van living—or sunsets for that matter).

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School-wide Art Advocacy
Advocacy

School-wide Art Advocacy

Imagine a team practicing plays every afternoon but never playing an actual game in front of family and friends. Or imagine a band playing full pieces in practice each day but never performing at a concert hall.

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Sanskrit, Street Art, and Empowerment
Looking & Learning

Sanskrit, Street Art, and Empowerment

Nepalese-born, Boston-based Sneha Shrestha is a groundbreaking street artist—the first to combine the script of Sanskrit with American graffiti. Her murals bring new power, beauty, and meaning to this ancient language, something she considers a small piece of her homeland in America.

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