Making…and Learning

Making…a powerful venue for learning.

Our students have been doing a lot of making…and learning lately.  Sometimes that making looks and feels a lot like play.  And that’s a good thing.

This week we were lucky enough to have the Lux Art Institute come to our classroom with The Story Box from their Valise Project.  On Tuesday our students spent an hour examining the wood carving, block prints, and sculptures of Jim Lawrence based on fairy tales…and were invited to either write their own fairy tale or pick a favorite to create a block print image today.

Our students were excited to think about fairy tales…and write their own.  The creativity of children is amazing…their stories sometimes meander a bit, but there is no shortage of imagination and wonder.

And today they had the opportunity to create their own “blocks” for printing.  Using styrofoam sheets, they used pencils to etch indentations of their image…and even learned some techniques for writing their names and other words backwards so they would print forwards.  (They made a few mistakes…but that, too, is part of the learning process.)

Using a brayer and paint, they smoothed paint onto the surface of their etching and then pressed it onto colored paper to create their prints.

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They created beautiful images…whimsical, cute, fanciful, scary…and everything in between.

For more than an hour, my students were happily engaged with drawing, etching, painting, and writing.  They had to think critically and problem solve.  They had to practice patience as they waited their turn to paint.  They focused and produced.  They were making.  Making art.  Making stories.  Making memories.  Making connections.  Making understanding.  And they were learning.

What have you made lately?

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