Pre-K: Our pre-k students studied the change of seasons and we decided to see what would happen if we introduced soft sculpture to them and let them create their own dolls. The students were asked to think about what clothes the dolls would wear and what season they wanted to dress the dolls for. The students had complete creative freedom with loose parts. Each doll is unique and clearly shows summer clothing or winter clothing. The students described the clothing to me as I helped them glue their creations with hot glue, to make them permanent and suitable for play.
After their dolls were completed, we decided to see what stories would come out of playing with the dolls. I took small groups to the studio and let them play with wood blocks for a while. I listened to the stories coming out of the play and then asked questions to see if we could create a book out of the play.
After they dictated their ideas to me, I printed their words and the students illustrated the stories.
In first grade, we spent a while learning about landscapes, drawing space, forced perspective and how we can study the weather through art.
Kindergarten has been studying bridges and ramps, so we've done some watercolor paintings of famous bridges to really study the details of what makes a bridge. We decided to tie in a huge painting of the Peace Bridge as we tied up the Buffalo unit in 104.
Our second graders have been studying the changes in our community over time. We took another hike through the valley nature trail and the students were very curious about the old buildings and bridges in the area.
We watched videos on Silo City and looked at photographs of the Valley and the First Ward. As the weather warms up, we plan on taking a walking field trip to a few local museums to learn more about our community.
The goal for this particular unit of study is to inspire the students to write or create something that will tell the history of the community, a project that will require research and non-fiction writing. We are letting them come up with the idea of what they want to create and we keep providing opportunities for them to learn.
We took them to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, as well, so that they could see what different museums look like and make comparisons.