The Grade 3 students have embarked upon their first unit “Who We Are” and are addressing the central idea “exploring different learning styles helps individuals understand each other better”. In art class we also look at the related idea that “collaboration can lead to new learning, unforeseen creativity, and better understanding of one’s own strengths and weaknesses.”
Before beginning their first project — collaborative sculptures — the students learned a variety of paper manipulation skills (folding, curling, fringing, looping, and spiraling) and created unique sculptures by combining their different creations together. Students had the opportunity to approach these exercises in different ways: listening, observing, exploring, trial-and-error, and peer-coaching.
Next they spent some time in art class identifying their own strengths and weaknesses as individuals in the areas of drawing, painting, building, measuring, and ideating (thinking up ideas), as well as discussing how they can teach and learn from one another to improve in certain of these areas. Next, each child identified three — or four — personal passions.
Now they are working in small groups — of their own choosing — to create large sculptures which are essentially self-portraits (although they won’t actually be creating their own faces). These artworks are 3-dimensional paper constructions which describe and reflect the personalities and interests of these Grade 3 students, as decided by each group working collaboratively and based on each child’s passions and interests. The challenge for each group is to determine: How do we communicate ourselves visually through our sculptures?