Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sand Surrealism and Artist Statements

I wrote about my Surrealistic Sand lesson that I teach to 3rd grade last summer but I just had to share some results from this year. This project can be a challenge for students but it is such a different way of working than they are used to that I love teaching it. The students learn about Surrealism and Masson's Battle of Fishes then use the automatic process of drizzling glue and sprinkling sand on it as the stimulus for their idea.
This student remembered Dali's Swans Reflecting Elephants from my Surrealism PowerPoint and was so excited to show me that his project is a stingray from one direction and an elephant from the other.
Cygnes Refletant Des Elephants - Salvador Dali
Swans Reflecting Elephants via WikiPaintings
Here are a few others:

This year my SMART goal was focused on improving 3rd graders' ability to express ideas in Artist Statements. When my students write Artist Statements, I ask them to answer "What, How, Why, How"- What did you make? How did you make it? Why did you make it (what were we learning about)? and, How do you think it turned out? While I didn't meet my goal, I did see big improvements from the "pre-test" Artist Statements at the beginning of the year that were mostly something like "This is a fish. It's pretty."

I thought it was funny that this student made her project because "number one I did not want to get in trouble"


  1. I like your idea about the artist statement. It's just so hard to find the time isn't it?

    1. It is hard to find the time when we don't get the students for very long! I usually have students write statements if they finish early or with my younger students who I see every week instead of every other week, I'll sometimes have them clean up about 15 minutes before the end of class on the last day of a project to have special artist-statement-writing time.