In their homeroom classes the Grade 1 students focused on the central idea that all living things go through a process of change. The students studied a variety of living things, and then each child chose a particular one to focus on for his or her art project. After some discussion and review of a ‘life cycle’ in art class and then practicing drawing the chosen creature (either butterfly, turtle, or bird), the students began to think about how they could communicate the concept of a life cycle — not only visually but also in three dimensions.
In this unit the students created artwork in response to a variety of stimuli, and they identified, planned, and made specific choices of materials, tools, and processes. Below, see the students at work on their sculptures and dioramas and see some of their finished projects.
The children worked diligently to create multiple sculptures from plasticine so as to represent the beginning, middle, and end of their creatures’ life cycles. Once their sculptures were completed — after being pushed to develop further their modeling and painting skills — the students then constructed three-dimensional dioramas from paper, pencil, pastels, markers (and words/labels), creating environments for their artwork in which to present their new knowledge and skills. With the sculptures installed in the dioramas, the students were ready to present their projects to the other students, to teachers, and to parents at their Friday assembly performance.