Searching for ways to incorporate 21 century skills in her art classes, Pikesville Middle School Art Teacher, Ms. Lynam, engaged her 7th grade students in applying their artistic skills to a problem they could relate to in their own world: homeless animals. The students partnered with the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown, MD to bring attention to the animals that were in need of adoption. After they researched images of animals on their Revolves, the students practiced sketching the animals. Wendy Goldband, the head of PR at the Baltimore Humane Society, came to the school and talked with the students about the facility and their animal adoption process during which time the students presented her with donated pet treats and toys. After her visit, students searched the Humane Society webpage, chose an animal they wanted to sketch, and then designed adoption posters. Their fabulous designs, made from the heart, were displayed on the Baltimore Humane Society’s website, Facebook page, sent out across Twitter, and hung in the facility. Students celebrated when they checked the website and saw that their animals were adopted. The unit concluded with the students creating thank you letters reflecting on their experience of giving back to their community.
In the fall of this school year, Fort Garrison generously opened its door to Windsor Mill for a day of learning walks. Hanging in the front lobby to welcome guests was a large lighthouse decorated with brightly colored bottle caps. The icon of welcome and learning inspired faculty at WMMS to create a piece of art of their own.
Art teacher Nancy Fishel took the helm and designed a Service-Learning Project for her 7th grade classes. Work began with a 4x8 foot piece of plywood that Fishel cut into the shape of a lighthouse. Students, faculty, and staff brought in found objects that 7th graders sorted into categories that would form the stripes on the body of the lighthouse. For the ensuing two weeks, students diligently glued shells, toys, iridescent paper, pencil shards, and old cell phone parts in colorful and creative combinations. At the top of the lighthouse, students stacked layers of CDs to mimic the spotlight and surrounded the shape in yellow and blue plastic gems. The final work of art was signed, dated, and hung in the front lobby as Windsor Mill Middle School’s own sign of welcome.
Submitted by Stacy Siegel
Reading Specialist, Fort Garrison Elementary
Third grade students at Fort Garrison Elementary worked with art teacher Grace Hulse and media specialist Lindsay O’Donnell to build a unique structure on their school grounds. Each student selected an insect that is native to Maryland and using their devices completed research about their insects. The students identified what their insect does over the winter: lay eggs and die, hibernate, nest, or migrate.
For nesting and hibernating insects the students constructed a “bug hotel” to provide a welcoming place to spend the cold winter months. The hotel, created from natural materials provides shelter for pollinators and pest controllers.
The FGES hotel was built by stacking pallets and bricks to make a three story structure. Students brought in plastic two liter bottles, bamboo stalks, clay pots, and twigs from home. Additional materials (pine cones, leaves, bark) were collected on the school grounds and nature trail.
Students sorted materials and arranged them in plastic bottles, cigar boxes, and bundles. The various containers were aesthetically arranged on the pallets. The hotel was topped off with potted plants and a sign to welcome visitors!
Submitted by Chelsea Mazurek
Art Teacher, Edmondson Heights Elementary
In art class at Edmondson Heights Elementary, students are experimenting with creating their own stop motion animation videos. Stop motion is created when you take many still photographs of objects or drawings, moving each one slightly in each picture. When all of the photos are put together and increased in their speed, they create movement.
We are using windows movie maker to edit our photos and music from freemusicarchive.org. Right now students are using found objects to tell short stories through movement. Later on in the year we will revisit this media and create our own stop-motion cartoons or Claymation videos.
Submitted by Barbara Zelt
Art Teacher, Church Lane Elementary
The introduction of the new devices has expanded the possibilities for student learning in Art. They are a great tool in which the students have the opportunity in self directing their own learning. The children are engaged with interactive activities, thought provoking problem solving lessons and programs where the resources are readily available with a click or finger swipe. The students work together to navigate through the programs and share information in maneuvering the commands to land themselves onto the correct screen. Watching how quickly they learn to manipulate the device for the desired outcome is a joy to watch. The children are excited, engaged and their joy of learning is evident in the new ways they are expressing their artistic talents.
While students use the devices other students may work in collaboration in small groups. I was teaching a lesson on Henri Matisse using the programs on Discovery Education and Symbaloo. These are great resources where the children view a video about Henrii Matisse (Discovery Education) and create models for paper cut out projects. The children determine the theme of their picture and then with the availability of numerous options (colors, shapes, patterns and the layout of the composition), design thumbnail sketches on their devices. These are the models the students will use to create their pictures. Simultaneously a small group of students are gathered to manipulate materials and create a group mural on a theme of the same project. This learning environment allows the teacher to work more closely with some students with a hands on activity while the other children are working independently on their devices. The groupings rotate throughout the class time. We are working within the best of two worlds; technology infused into our teaching environments. The devices have expanded further enrichment opportunities for student centered directed learning.
Reflections from teachers, administrators, and students at the Lighthouse Schools.