Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Since the 4th graders worked collaboratively to create digital luchadors that showed symmetry and movement last week, I thought it would be interesting for them to continue, but with a partner process that was a lot different than those, yet shared certain commonalities.

We started by reviewing our process from last week and then I shared a video of Heather Hansen at work. She uses her whole body to create gorgeous large scale drawings that show symmetry. While viewing it, we looked at how her hands/arms create the same types of marks on both sides of her body as she works. We looked at the physical nature of her work and how it was both a physical and visual dance on her drawing support.

We then looked at part of a short video about students at the Shekou International School in China, who have created works inspired by Heather's process. (their amazing teacher, Miss Morgan is on instagram- @morganstudentart) I wanted my kids to see how other kids their age of worked within Heather's framework and I wanted them to hear Heather speak about her work.

Finally, I shared a video of my son and I doing what they would be doing in class. Breaking down the work one more time, so they could see it done by one of their peers and a teacher.

I emphasized that this process is an experiment with symmetry and centering their body and mind. The communication between partners should be as nonverbal as possible. (This was a big shift from their previous collab process, where I encouraged them to talk and discuss through the making of their luchadors as they navigated a couple apps for the first time.) This was an experiment in close looking (reading) and responding or mirroring the actions of your partner. Partners would take turns leading each other- if they noticed their partner was confused with a movement, they could repeat it in the drawing to reinforce it. On the opposite side, if they were the one not understanding, they should take the time to think and visualize their partner's movement. They do not need to feel rushed.

When all the teams got in place, were kneeling across from each other, and the music came on, they could begin. As they drew, I emphasized drawing with both hands at the same time. (I think that was the most common deviation from the activity and it is totally understandable. How many times do we encourage kids or adults for that matter, to use both limbs simultaneously?) After about 5 minutes, I gave the groups a second color, followed by a 3rd after another 5 minutes. The final drawing step was to use a finger from each hand and make marks by smearing chalk that had already been applied.

When the drawings are done, we wash up, and come back together to reflect on the processes of the past 2 projects. They answer 4 questions for me, and then we take a few minutes to share out.


  1. Fantastic!! I love this mirroring process. It's so interesting to watch it in action. These finished pieces look like frame-worthy modern art. The second to the last charcoal piece is my favorite.

  2. This is soooo awesome! I have been integrating mindfulness (meditation, active listening, etc.) into my teaching. I am going to try this with my students this week.

  3. These are amazing. Thank you for sharing. What size paper did you use in the example you did with your daughter?