Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Shared Art Project #exploringidentity

exploring identity, identity, education, jen vincent, teaching

Last week I shared how I'll be using Jason Mamoa's short film Canvas of My Life to introduce identity webs to my students with Sara Ahmed's lesson from Being The Change. I also shared my ideas for inviting students to write about a door that has been significant in their life. After giving students an opportunity to get to know each other through these activities and others too, I then have a shared art project for them based on Canvas of My Life.

We've all heard of shared reading and shared writing, right? Well, this is a shared art project! I've always been an arts and crafts kind of girl. I come from a family of creatives and I'm lucky that they encouraged my creativity. Art is special and important and I want to incorporate it into my class as much as possible.

Here's what I have in mind for our first art project!

I bought a 5 x 5 canvas drop cloth from Home Depot for each of my classes and am going to ask them to work together to paint something that represents them as a class. My aunt is an artist and has tons of little bottles of acrylic paint and oodles of paintbrushes so I've asked her to come in and share her expertise and resources with my students. 

At this point, students will be familiar with symbolism so I'll talk to them about what they would paint that would represent them as a group. We'll talk about the message Jason Mamoa shares in the video and also what we've learned about each other from sharing our doors and what is important to us overall. Then we'll divide up the work and get started. I have space on one wall in our classroom where we'll display their artwork for the year. My thought is that at the end of the year, we'll cut the canvas up and students will each get a piece of the canvas to take with them as a keepsake and a reminder of the work we did together. 

My goal for our shared art project is to invite students to think about their identity in terms of being part of a community and how they impact that community. I'm so excited to see what they come up with because I already know it will be more awesome than I can even imagine. Don't worry, I'll share how this goes and how the art turns out!

Have you tried art projects with your students? I love the idea of bringing art into my classroom and would love to hear your thoughts or stories of what you've tried!

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