Monday, November 23, 2015

Friendship Collages- EES

Apologies that it has been a while since my last post!  Grading has swallowed me whole.  It sort of looks and feels like this.

Pinocchio and Geppetto trapped inside Monstro
Now, the lighting in my house was a little better, and my quill pens sit idle since we grade online, but I am pretty sure it felt the same overall, and it was lovely to eventually see daylight again.

During this month second grade artists have been creating collages.  They began by making backgrounds with a partner, Students worked together to place tissue paper strips onto a sheet of wet paper, then placed another on top, sandwiching the tissue papers. After they tiptoed over the paper sandwich, they peeled it apart and discarded the tissue, leaving two mirror-image backgrounds.

 From there, artists went in their own directions, depicting a friendship between two creatures. 

Butterfly friends playing with a ball
One of the creatures was a real animal, and the second was a real or imaginary friend of the first creature.

Elephant with his imaginary friend, who is carrying a pencil. "They love to do art together."

Some of these friendships reflected relationships students have in their own lives, and in their families.

"It's a mommy and baby horse eating apples together."
Students gave their creatures an environment- undersea, grassy pastures, etc., in addition to the backgrounds created with a partner.

Orca and eel
Many students chose to use reference books to help them draw their real animal accurately, and it shows in the level of detail that many achieved.

Deep water fish and his alien buddy.
A group of three friends: alligator, butterfly, and mouse.
This one reminded me of the book Amos and Boris, a tale of an unlikely and important friendship between a whale and a mouse, who each have a turn to save one another's lives.


Second graders are doing several projects that involve cooperative partnership work.  Before we began, we spent a lot of time brainstorming what successful partnerships look like, and what they have in common with friendships.  Although not every student will wind up being friends with every other child, we are building the capacity to recognize one another's strengths, and the things that make others want to be with you.

Chameleons
It is both challenging and community-building for students to work this way, especially in creative processes like the arts offer, because everyone wants the space for their own voice to be heard, and it can be hard to negotiate those compromises with another person. My hope is that over time the students will be able to see the strength of the sharing of ideas and visions with multiple minds. 

Love this land-and-sea relationship.  Amazing composition.

In the meantime, their fabulous artwork certainly reflects their understanding of friendships and shared experiences.


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