8th Grade students created portraits of animals to accompany their community project to support the Humane League. After learning about using art for advocacy, they used the math and grid method to measure and get accurate proportions in their work. They chose materials like watercolor, oil pastel, colored pencil, or acrylic paint to make their portraits. They also created posters on their computers to accompany their chosen pets, some of which were actual animals available for adoption!
One of my goals this year was to introduce more 3D opportunities for my students. I had never attempted weaving and after lots of online research I decided to give it a go! I tried it out with a few students in 5th and 6th and decided to try it with my 6th graders. I am so glad I did because the kids absolutely loved it! A big plus, this lesson easily allowed for STEAM to be incorporated:
Science: The discovery of concentric circles found in our world.
Technology: The use of technology to enhance and document learning.
Engineering: The construction of physical woven concentric circles that exhibit attempts at architecture and engineering.
Arts: Construction of the woven concentric circles that encourage the student artist’s creative expression.
Math: The exploration of lines, patterns, and the construction of concentric circles that share the same center.
After a brief introduction to the art of Kandinsky, I invited the kiddos to weave their own concentric circles. Chinet plates were used as the “loom” which we made the first day. Having the students number the plates made all of the difference. We worked as a large group stringing the “warp” on- a few of the students needed extra direction with this part but they all managed to do it. Yay! They loved picking the colors and planning out their designs. Have a look at these great results. Always a good day in the art room when they are all engaged and all I need to do is walk around and listen to them chat away to me while they eagerly work.
For this project, students designed a weaving using materials that describe them as a person. During the first class, we had the opportunity to view the works of artist Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia who was having a show in the gallery. The school also arranged for the students to meet with him for a Q&A. After learning about his creative process and symbolic meanings in his weavings we moved into the classroom where the students wove materials onto looms that symbolized things that are important to them.
Much like the artist, they started by creating a watercolor using colors that meant something to them. Some were inspired by music, their pets, their favorite colors, what they were feeling at that moment. We let the watercolors dry and sliced them down to 1/4″ strips in the papercutter.
They used the paper along with other materials we provided or items they brought from home. Each weaving became a unique personal statement for each of the students. We were very pleased with the results!
Another alternative to this project is having them only weave the strips of paper they created.
Materials: Mat board for loom, heavy thread, plastic weaving needles, beads, raffia, various strings and papers.