Third Grade confronts limitations and glue guns

The 3rd graders began the school year in art class by working in three-dimensions, learning to manipulate two-dimensional pieces of paper to create 3D sculptures independently and, next, working collaboratively to construct new sculptures — developed from a detailed plan, larger, made of a variety of materials, and containing personal symbolism to represent themselves and the Third Grade as a whole.

After a long break to work two dimensionally on developing original comic strips (see earlier Grade 3 post), the Third Graders are back working in three dimensions. But this time, rather than create a plan first and then deciding on the materials after, this time the students were presented with a limited type and amount of materials (primarily scrap wood pieces but also including — if they wished also to incorporate some or all — wire, string, fabric, paper, and paint). And in working with and playing with — and sometimes building, breaking apart, and reconstructing — these materials, the students created original sculptures in a different manner than previously. Some students chose to create realistic things (a restaurant, a boat, a video game), others made abstract sculptures, and some built highly imaginary, partly realistic, partly abstract creations.

See the young artists at work (below) and hear their critiques of their artworks on the Twitter feed to the right (look for the artists’ first names):

3rd Graders complete their environmentally-aware comic strips

The 3rd graders have completed their comic strips which follow along with their unit on recycling, reusing, and waste — the central idea of which is that the choices people make as they buy and consume things can lead to the creation of waste. Each student’s personalized comic strip reflects some aspect of their understanding about the effects of consumption, recycling, littering, or creating waste.

The 3rd graders wrote and sketched as methods of brainstorming ideas, developed simple story lines, created rough sketches in pencil, and have now completed their final versions in pencil, ink, and colored pencil. The students are primarily focused on line, color, and balance in the development of their comic strip creations — aiming to make their images and words clear so that their audience understands their intent.

Here are some photos of the finished comic strips and the students in action:

Yamate Art Exhibition 2012-13: E.S. art students on display!

The Yamate Art Exhibition is on!

A number of our elementary school art students have their artwork exhibited now in the annual Yamate Art Show: February 15 – 26 at Bluff No. 111 (Yamanote Ichibankan 111, tel. 045-623-2957) from 9:30-17:00 daily, 9:30-12:00 on Feb 26.

This art show is part of the Yokohama Yamate Art Festival and includes the artwork of students from several schools in the Yamate area, on view in other galleries located at: Bluff No. 234, Berrick Hall (St. Maur), Bluff No. 18, Diplomat’s House, and Osaragi Jiro Memorial Museum.

Do come visit the Y.I.S. student gallery at Bluff No. 111 and see the energy, efforts, and two- & three-dimensional creativity of our Kindergarten through Grade 5 artists! If you can’t, see the images below for a sampling of what you’re missing!

3rd Graders work to complete their personalized letter sculptures

Having completed their Explorer Unit play productions (complete with original props, set design, and costumes) the 3rd graders at long last returned to their group sculpture projects, each based on a letter of the alphabet.  At the outset of this project back in September, each team of three students had to practice the various aspects of this sculpture’s process — ideating, drawing, painting, building, measuring — and then divide up the tasks according to each’s strengths.  Over time, the students have learned from one another and, for the most part, have all contributed in many ways to the development of their projects.  Their challenge has been to transform their letters into objects which display their imagination and represent their interests.  In the end, the 3rd graders’ three-dimensional letters will be combined — and all hung from the ceiling — to create a phrase focused on the central idea of their first unit and visually reflective of those images, ideas, thoughts, fantasies, and passions particular to these 3rd graders.

3rd Grade completes their play props, sets, and costumes

Having brainstormed ideas for their drama performances — by pondering the questions: What do you need to plan a performance? and Visually, what best communicates your story to the audience? — the students worked in small groups for several weeks to discuss, plan, and build the most important props, costumes, and set designs. The ideas and the execution of their plans were theirs alone, as they took complete responsibility for their artwork and their performances.

The plays were presented in December before the Winter Break, to great acclaim and applause. Congratulations, third graders, on your excellent collaborative work, on your risk-taking in creating objects you had never made before, and on your reflective and open-minded approach to your planning and your construction.

3rd Graders plan for a new performance and reflect on themselves

The 3rd grade classes have been brainstorming ideas for their new, upcoming drama performance, pondering the questions:
What do you need to plan a performance?
Visually, what best communicates your story to the audience?
After generating numerous ideas, the students broke into small groups to discuss and plan for the most important prop, costume, and set design ideas, making notes and sketches in their sketchbooks before regrouping to discuss their priorities as a whole class.

Next, having decided on the necessary items to be made, the students worked in groups to move from the planning stage to the construction stage: studying their plans, gathering the required materials, and beginning to build the various props, scenery pieces, and costume accessories.

Additionally, the students have taken time recently to reflect on themselves as learners in art class. After considering the PYP learner profile (CARING, COMMUNICATOR, RISK-TAKER, PRINCIPLED, KNOWLEDGEABLE, THINKER, INQUIRER, REFLECTIVE, OPEN-MINDED, BALANCED), each student selected which two words best describes him/herself in art class and then wrote a sentence or two explaining their reasoning.

3rd Graders complete another stage of their Letter Sculptures

The 3rd Graders have made much progress as they near the completion of their letter sculptures.  They have finalized their designs and plans and are currently painting and constructing the details which personalize their sculptures: colors, images, and objects which describe them individually and as “3rd graders”.  Collaboration has been a major aspect of this projects, and the students have made much progress in learning to be open-minded & caring, communicators & risk-takers.

3rd Graders progress with their Letter sculptures

Having finished constructing the letters with stiff paper, tape, and scissors, they have moved on to the next step: enveloping their structures with paper and glue (“papier maché”). This messy but precise process aims to strengthen the sculptures and give a kind of ‘skin’ to their letters.  Each team of three had to practice aspects of the paper mache process and then divide up the tasks according to their strengths.  In the end, all the 3rd graders’ letters will be combined to create a phrase focused on the central idea of their first unit and visually reflective of those images, ideas, thoughts, fantasies, and passions particular to 3rd grade.

Here are some Third Graders at work with paper mache:

3rd graders at work on paper mache from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

3rd Grade moves forward with their 3-D constructions

Now working in small groups to create sculptures of letters of the alphabet, 3rd Graders are thinking about how to create their sculptures so as to represent themselves both as individuals and as “3rd graders”. They work together, aware of each others’ particular strengths (drawing, painting, building, ideating, measuring, etc) as they share tasks. As they finish constructing the letters with stiff paper, tape, and scissors, they move on to the next step: enveloping their structures with paper and glue (“papier maché”). In the end, all the 3rd graders’ letters will be combined to create a phrase focused on the central idea of their first unit and visually reflective of those images, ideas, thoughts, fantasies, and passions particular to 3rd grade.

Here is the instructional video the students watched in order to reinforce the paper mache (“papier maché”) process.

how to create a three-dimensional letter II from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Here are pictures of the students as they design and construct their letters before beginning the paper mache process.

3rd grade learns how to build a 3-dimensional paper structure

The 3rd graders have been focusing on sculpture, specifically on the manipulation of (2-dimensional) sheets of paper to create 3-dimensional forms: by folding, curling, fringing, looping, and spiraling.  Now, they are working in small groups — balanced according to their self-assessed strengths (drawing, painting, building, measuring, ideating) — to create sculptures of letters of the alphabet.  Students will have to determine how to create their sculptures so as to represent themselves both as individuals and as “3rd graders”.  In the end, their sculptures will be combined to create a phrase focused on the central idea of their first unit.

Here are the 3rd graders at work on their introductory project and on their new and current project:

The accompanying instructional videos detail the skills and processes which the 3rd graders have been practicing and using in art class; they may be watched at home by students who want further practice.

basic 3D paper manipulations from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

how to create a three-dimensional letter from YIS Academics on Vimeo.