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Lesson Plans

Re: Holiday art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 20:37:13 EST

One way to combat the holiday art syndrome is to ask (in a kindly manner)
exactly what is the learning objective that the teacher has in mind? These
gentle reminders seem to get the idea across especially after those same
teachers witness significant learning through art. Here is a significant art
assignment for the Christmas season that was great fun and had some wonderful
connections to science and another culture.

Last year the second grade at one of the schools where I act as a mentor to
the faculty decided to explore toys from other cultures. This lead to a
wonderful unit on galimotos and the art of recycling. Kids saw the Reading
Rainbow video about galimotos and were motivated to make their own toys from
recycled objects. Posters from "Recycled, Reseen" were also shown and

For one week the kids were asked to keep track of things they normally toss
out (plastic eating utensils, fast food boxes, all sorts of packaging
materials). The teachers provided a tote bag for the kids to each collect
these sorts of objects. It made quite an impact when the entire class
brought their recyclable goods to school. They had no idea how much trash
they produced in one week.

asked to design a toy that could move. Sketches were made of the kinds of
toys each child enjoyed. Then, from the recycled materials, the toys took
form. Two-litter plastic bottles became cars and airplanes, boxes became
baby buggies, plastic lids became wheels, straws were axles, and on and on.

Then the kids wrote about their galimotos, how they made them, and why they
liked them.

Great lesson. The Fort Worth newspaper even wrote a story about it.

Regards from North Texas,

Pam Stephens

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