May 2020

Movement

Art teachers motivate students to explore the powers of the digital age in a variety of lessons that focus on movement, film, animation, and illusion. Students use animation apps to create original characters and short videos, design and construct brightly lit “moving pictures” from spinning image panels, assemble sculptures that suggest movement and harmony, and more.

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Highlights From This Issue

Editor's Letter: Movement
Editor's Letter

Editor's Letter: Movement

In recent years, SchoolArts has invited our contributing editors and other art educators to choose a theme and coedit an issue. David Gran, our guest editor for this issue, teaches innovation, design, and IB film at Shanghai American School in Shanghai, China, and is a long-time contributing editor to SchoolArts.

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Heroic Portraits
Early Childhood

Heroic Portraits

Inspired by the large-scale portraits of Mickalene Thomas and Kehinde Wiley, our pre-kindergartners created their own heroic portraits, blending digital and hands-on artmaking techniques. We began our lesson by viewing Wiley’s paintings, that feature street-cast black New Yorkers in familiar Renaissance poses.

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Elementary Animation
Elementary

Elementary Animation

Just over a decade ago, I was a new art teacher who was very excited to bring animation into my elementary curriculum. I uploaded hundreds of images from digital cameras into stop-motion software on my laptop to help students create short animations of blurry moving characters. Fortunately, technology has advanced so students can create multiple types of animation using an iPad.

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Skateboard Symmetry
Elementary

Skateboard Symmetry

We all have lessons we revisit each year due to the high level of student success and excitement. One such lesson for me is a collage skateboard deck project that focuses on symmetry, space, color value, and positive/negative shapes. For this experiment, my fifth-graders look at works by not one, but three amazing contemporary artists: Eva Zeisel, Patrick Hruby, and Shepard Fairey.

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Set into Motion
Middle School

Set into Motion

I presented my students with a challenge to create an engaging sculpture that possesses a sense of movement and harmony, using a variety of materials such as metal, recycled plastics, cardboard, beads, wood scraps, yarn, wire, and more. Their journey began with viewing various artworks by Nancy Graves and discussing how she creates movement and harmony through her sculptures by utilizing the various elements of art.

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Someone Else's Story
Middle School

Someone Else's Story

The theme for our grade seven (G7) last semester was storytelling. Students began the semester making artworks that told a personal story. When planning what to do next, we thought, “How about telling someone else’s story?” So, we reached out to the grade three (G3) teachers and invited them to collaborate with us. They were excited and immediately agreed to the idea of having the G7 students bring G3 stories to life!

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Putting a Spin On It
High School

Putting a Spin On It

I wanted my advanced-level students to be pushed out of their comfort zones to create nontraditional, observational still-life drawings. I changed things up by having them draw cross-contour lines, and later, they took a new approach to their subject with mixed media.

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Moving Pictures
High School

Moving Pictures

Education during the 21st century has been focused on science, technology, engineering, and math, and in recent years, has included art to create what is known as STEAM. The purpose of STEAM is to prepare students to succeed in our technology driven and innovative workforce. While much focus is given to preparing students for the future, there is value in taking a step back and learning from history.

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The Community Maps Project
Elementary/University

The Community Maps Project

The Community Maps Project represents a collaboration between art education students at the University of Florida and elementary students from the local school district in Gainesville, Florida. This project involved university students working with small groups of elementary students in an afterschool program for six weeks.

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Sculpting Cultural Connections
Looking & Learning

Sculpting Cultural Connections

George Rodriguez creates figurative ceramic sculptures that explore his Mexican heritage, political issues surrounding the U.S. and Mexico border, and universal connections between human beings. His work frequently explores Hispanic themes, such as quinceañera dresses, zodiacs featuring Mexican animals, large heads that resemble giant Olmec ruler heads, and decorated calavera (skulls that are part of Day of the Dead art).

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