Tag Archives: art

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?

Making Art

Participating in photo-a-day means that I am always on the lookout for an interesting photo opportunity.  And even though this whole month is themed writing, that doesn’t mean that I don’t take and post other interesting photos.

Driving to work is one of those times when I keep my eyes peeled for promising places to return to for a photo or two.  Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed a house not far from my school that seems to be made of concrete.  It’s huge, looks over the ocean, and has floor to ceiling windows…obviously designed for maximum visual impact, from inside and from outside.

And today as I drove by, I noticed skeletons and zombies and other creepy things through the windows and on the deck.  I knew I would stop by later and take some photos.  When I stopped on my way home I struggled to get a photo that captured what I could see with my eyes.

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So I took this photo and used an editing app to play around with it.  Could I pull the photo in and see those full sized bodies standing on the deck?  Could I see through the windows?  Here is what I was able to produce from the picture above using the app Tadaa and the filter otherland.

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I love that moment when a snapshot becomes a piece of art.  I wonder if that is what the owners of that house also had in mind?

Urban Art?

There are two of these nailed to the telephone poles on either side of this bridge-like structure near my school.  I passed them yesterday without stopping, but today I had to take the time to capture a photograph.  They have me wondering and asking questions.

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Are they urban art?  An advertisement for something?  They can definitely work as a writing prompt!  What do you think?  What story would you tell?