The first week of school was abbreviated due to the Labor Day holiday at one end and the SoCal blackout on the other, but the kids still produced something pretty darn cool.
This artwork is a prime example of the importance of both unity and variety in an artwork. Most successful images find a working balance between these two principles. If an artwork is too unified it could be visually boring and if there is too much variety then the image could be too chaotic to take in.
I shared the image with the students and we identified how she created unity- repetition of shapes, and variety- different heights, widths, and colors.
I also shared that the materials used in the image were all recycled or leftover from other projects.
After giving the students the lowdown on Lee's artwork I told the students that they would be doing something similar. However, they would be working together and the final artwork would be very large.
Students started off by making cylinders of different heights and widths. Once these were complete I gave teams a couple plates with elmers glue and they dipped the bottom end of the cylinders in it and then placed it on a larger sheet of paper. Students could place smaller ones inside bigger ones and vice versa. When a sheet would become full, I would replace it with another sheet and the construction process would start anew.
This was a simple way of getting kids into my room to review rules and procedures and make something to beautify the school as well. Each class visited me for 30 minutes the 1st week, so students in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th had a chance to participate in the project.
In a cliche way, I see our school in the project. Each of the cylinders is like a student, so are all unified in their desire to succeed and be a positive part of our school community. Each of those cylinders is different than the others in height, width, and color, just like each of our students is special and unique.
This project was also great for my classroom physical space because we were able to use up A LOT of paper that was leftover from projects done over the past couple of years. There is a lot less clutter in my cabinets!