Monday, September 3, 2018

it's a block party!

This year’s annual 1st week “almost whole school” collaborative is up in the auditorium. All our 2nd thru 5th grade classes contributed to the success of this large scale public art installation in our auditorium.

I’m going to keep this short and simple because I plan on writing it up more in detail soon for an upcoming Arts & Activities piece as part of my “Alive and Kicking” article series that focuses on using contemporary art as inspiration for your visual art curriculum.

The inspiration for this activity was a block party” quilt by Corinne Sovey- a graphic designer and quiltmaker based in Austin, Texas. 
With this activity, my students had about 20 minutes to design a quilt square that used the geometric elements found in Corinne’s quilt- with the addition of one more as well. After briefly going over my class rules and regs, I introduce the quilt and we identify the shapes in it. After that, we get busy making.

Each student starts with a 6x6 white square, 3 analogous color 3x3 squares, and a black or dark grey 2x3 rectangle. As classes roll through, the colors that are out for them gradually transitions- I usually start with yellows and move thru the spectrum until we end up back at yellow. I had plans for something a little different this year, but it didn’t happen;) The activity provides some student decision making opportunities while also working within certain design constraints.

1- students fold the white square into quarters and are reminded that they can place only one color in each of the quarters
2- students select one colored square to leave as is and place it in one of the white quarters
3- students select one color to turn into a triangle shape. They hold it like a diamond and cut from the bottom corner to the top. They get rid of one piece and place the triangle in one of the white quarters. I model rotating the triangle in different directions in different squares
4- with the remaining colored square, students have a choice- they may use a cardboard stencil to turn it into a quarter circle or they may cut it into rectangles. They take the shape or shapes and place in another white quarter. Again, experimenting with rotation and if using rectangles, they should only use them vertically or horizontally.
5- the final black rectangle is cut into a minimum of 2 rectangles and placed in the last white quarter. Again, attempting to limit themselves to vertical and horizontal positioning.
6- once they have all their parts, I encourage them to look at their arrangement and decide whether it is satisfying. If they need to move pieces, they may.
7- then they glue the pieces down
8- when that’s done, they flip the paper and put glue on the back and head on back to our assembly table
9- students place and press their quilt squares on a large 24x36 white sheet of paper. I encourage them to look at the placement of the other student pieces and respond to it. They may decide the bottom of their design looks better at the top, or they might want to rotate it a quarter turn to join in a more interesting way with another quilt square.

As classes roll thru, I place the working collaborative on my floor, so students can start to get an idea of the overall effect and color transition.

When all classes are done, it install it in the auditorium. The use of 24x36  pieces makes these things much more easy to transport:)

And boom! So many kids have work on display and the install celebrates the elements of unity and variety as well as the community and diversity of our elementary school. 



  1. This is so gorgeous! I hope you do not mind that we are replicating your lesson here in South Portland, Maine and connecting it to International Peace Day. We are reading poems from the book Peaceful Pieces before planning out our individual collaged "quilt" squares. I would love to give you credit on Instagram and Twitter. What name should I use? Thank you!

  2. I love this so much. I think I might give this a go as well. I'm a new art teacher, and I'm looking for an all grades project for the first few weeks of the semester. I'm an Itinerant art teacher, so I need a Wow project, for them to remember me too. LOL..I will give you credit of course! I usually post on FB, but I will most like start an Instagram thread for my upcoming projects. I can also share here if you like. thank you for sharing your amazing projects with the kids, they are very lucky.

  3. Oh my goodness! This is gorgeous. I have to spread this post like fire. It is mind blowing. My nephew’s birthday is around the corner and I have booked a nice venue NYC for his birthday celebration. I must add such amazing activities to the day.

  4. I love this idea! I'm a 1st year teacher and im excite to try something like this :)

  5. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. rent party characters


  6. very nice collection of blog post you have posted here thank you very much for posting such blog post.

    Party Hall Booking || Banquet Halls in Delhi || Party Halls in West Delhi

  7. I really like this because in my life before I didn't see this kind of block party but after seeing that I'm so glad because kids are very happy. And they always want to enjoy their day that's why jumping castle gold coast comes to us with all amazing rides and inflatable games. So, you can visit them for more information.

  8. Just desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity in your post is simply excellent and i could.

    Here is my web site - 강남오피


  9. What is a blogging site where people give a lot of quick feedback?

    My site : 풀싸롱

  10. Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us 바카라

  11. I’m really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any web brwser compatibility issues?
    A couple of my blog visitors have complained about
    my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome.

    Do you have any tips to help ffix this problem?
    Click Here 오피월드


  12. Hey there! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does operating a well-established website like yours require a large amount
    of work? I’m brand new to writing a blog however
    I do write in my diary every day. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and thoughts
    online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for
    new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!JOIN US 오피월드


  13. That's a really impressive new idea! casino api It touched me a lot. I would love to hear your opinion on my site. Please come to the site I run once and leave a comment. Thank you.

  14. Hello, I am one of the most impressed people in your article. 슬롯사이트 If possible, please visit my website as well. Thank you.

  15. Hello, I read the post well. casino online It's a really interesting topic and it has helped me a lot. In fact, I also run a website with similar content to your posting. Please visit once

  16. Your post has really helped me a lot. I live in a different country than you, but I believe it will help a lot in my country. 카지노사이트 Thank you very much. Can I refer to your post on my website? Your post touched me a lot and helped me a lot. If you have any questions, please visit my site and read what kind of posts I am posting. I am sure it will be interesting.

  17. I've been looking for photos and articles on this topic over the past few days due to a school assignment, 우리카지노 and I'm really happy to find a post with the material I was looking for! I bookmark and will come often! Thanks :D

  18. This website is really a walk-through for every one of the details you wanted concerning this and also didn't know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and also you'll absolutely uncover it.

    횟수 무제한 출장

  19. Thanks for sharing This is really inspiring and I love to read more about this 토토

  20. Thanks for sharing excellent information. Your web-site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. 카지노사이트

  21. Harrah's Casino - Hollywood, FL
    Book direct on Harrah's Casino in Hollywood, 서울특별 출장마사지 FL and save 밀양 출장안마 up 서울특별 출장안마 to 20% 하남 출장샵 off with our Hot Rate deals when booking a last minute hotel 제천 출장마사지 room.

  22. I will definitely recommend your website to everyone. You have a very good gloss. Write more high-quality articles. I support you.

  23. Your article is very interesting. I think this article has a lot of information needed, looking forward to your new posts.


  24. You also explained the topic very well. For any requirement of Coursework Help in Canada, you can connect with LiveWebTutors and find the best solutions to submit your assignment with premium writing quality. 원화입금 해외사이트

  25. Good interesting post. Keep posting more good blogs. Government Contract Fraud Lawyer

  26. Beautiful writing that is so meaningful and really touches everyone's heart. DUI Lawyer Clarke VA

  27. Such a vibrant and collaborative project! It's amazing how art can bring students together. Looking forward to reading more about it in your upcoming article. Keep the creativity flowing
    Protective Order New Jersey