Friday, June 21, 2013

6th Choice- Yarn

This is the 6th and final post about my 6th graders' choice art projects to end the year. You can read the first explanatory post here. This is sort of a weird category- not all fibers, but all projects that utilized the yarn I had out for the 5th grade Choose Your Own Adventure fibers lesson!

The first photo shows a student working on her project next to her plan. I asked all the students to fill out an "Independent Project Proposal" form to help them brainstorm and think about what they would need for their projects. This student's plan was very detailed. On the back of her paper she sketched her idea and added notes and labels to keep organized. Most students were not that detailed, and I understand. It's good to have a plan, but sometimes hard to know exactly what you want to do until you start working.
Here is her finished project. The green looks sort of black in the photo. Knowing this student, I think she probably would have added more yarn somewhere in the background if we hadn't run out of time.
Here, a group of students all using yarn organized themselves into a group. Two of the girls are weaving bracelets, one teaching the other the technique. Another is wrapping yarn around her cardboard cross to add pattern and texture.
Here is one of the finished bracelets with a button clasp the student rigged up. You'll notice her wrist says "Pray 4 Rylee". About a month ago, one of my former students who had moved on to the middle school was struck by a car while riding her bicycle on the shoulder of the road. She was very seriously injured- broken bones, part of her leg amputated, internal and brain injuries. We are kept updated by a Facebook page and she seems to be making good progress, but still has a long road ahead of her. It was amazing to feel the sense of community as students and staff at both my schools wanted to help. Her Facebook page currently has over 2,400 likes so lots of people are praying for Rylee and her family. I thought it was cool that we captured that coming-togetherness with the record of this art project.

This student helped me see a big difference in the student thought process using a choice based approach in art class. She had her cross cut out, painted, and wrapped with yarn and came to talk to me about what to do next. She wanted to add something in the center. I should have written down how our conversation went when it was fresher in my mind, but basically, from asking her questions about what she was thinking and how she wanted to complete her project, I could see how much more thought was going into the materials and the process. When the project is designed by the teacher, even trying to allow for individuality, the teacher is putting way more thought into the materials and the process than the students. I saw students thinking about what would work best, how to secure things, what materials would work best together, wondering what would happen if they try this, etc. It was wonderful and I really feel like this is the direction I want to continue heading with my instruction.

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