Central Idea: Collaborative Inquiry is a journey which empowers students to demonstrate life-long skills and dispositions which lead to action.
Line of Inquiry: Artists use creativity to raise awareness of matters that are important to them.
Fifth Grade Parents,
(Videos in this post may be easier to view from a laptop or PC)
Welcome back! This is going to be a long blog post. My aim is to enlighten you, as best possible regards this year’s strong integration of art and the upcoming Grade 5 PYP Exhibition (PYPX). As you may know, during the latter part of this school year, students will be involved in in a personal investigation of their choice. Groups will be organised according to interest and students will involve themselves in a collaborative process of inquiry, and be required to present their learning to the whole school community in May. This is the culminating learning experience of your child’s elementary school experience and very exciting! Please do not contact home room teachers regards this, at this moment in time. You will be introduced to specific details at the scheduled time, after February break. However, as the Fifth Grade art rotation began last week, and shall continue until Mid-March, art class is currently helping students to ‘tune in’ to the idea of investigating a transdisciplinary theme, and our art class line of inquiry ‘Artists use creativity to express matters that are important to them’.
Identifying Transdisciplinary Themes and PYP Concepts
Our first week of art class, students have had the opportunity to really clarify the definitions of the PYP Transdisciplinary Themes and Concepts.
Considering that art is often a form of taking action ie. raising awareness, students have been exposed to the work or artists who clearly have something to say. Completely open to personal interpretation, students have worked in pairs to question what they see, seek meaning, and identify the Transdisciplinary Theme and PYP Concepts in well known artworks. Many have been enthusiastic to share their thinking with the class.
Inspired by Kusama, Fifth Grade are working on an Obliteration Room of their own.
Exposure to a variety of art making forms
During week two and three, students are being reminded that art comes in a variety of forms, such as painting, drawing, construction, collage, and photography. The intention here is to open their minds to the various media which they could use, if they choose to, as a means of expression during their upcoming personal learning journey. It has been a busy and exciting time, as students have rotated through teacher directed, art stations. They are reminded to constantly keep in mind, the question “How can I use creativity to express a matter which is important to me?”
Example: Transdisciplinary Theme: How the World Works, PYP Concept: Change, Line of Inquiry: The Earth’s Cycles influence the activities of living things. Art Form: Painting, Task: Collaboratively create an abstract expression of the four seasons on four large canvases.
PYP Attitudes/Attributes (Learner Profile)
Incorporated into all, is consideration of the PYP Learner Profile. A shared painting can be a challenge and cause great frustration when a partner removes, changes, or transforms an area of a work with which you held a moment of great pride. A strong sense of perseverance, and acceptance is required and students are being encouraged to be responsible and caring in their approach to all. I am pleased to report, that to date, a large percentage of students are demonstrating high levels of positivity in this regard. In fact, as the week has progressed, excited students have returned to art class before or after school, or during recess, simply to observe the new development that has occured during their time away.
Gallery of Students Working at Stations, and our work so far
In the above photos you will notice students standing on tables. This is not an act of artistic rebellion! With permission, they are safely standing at a height to view their work from above. Similarly, students can be found at the opposite side of the room at times, as they allow distance to provide a new perspective on the progression of their work. They are constantly self and peer evaluating, providing each other feedback, and making collaborative decisions regards their next steps with the work.
The entire Fifth Grade are working rapidly. It has been amazing to see! Two weeks of planned work is well under way, in just three days and students are requesting more! Together, we are making decision regards the introduction of new stations. And together, we shall decide, later in the year, which of our collaborative works we agree to being ‘presentable’.
When working groups have been established for the PYP Exhibition (after February break), and as students begin to form a clear idea for their group line of inquiry, they will have the option (please note, not compulsory) to incorporate artistic creativity into their work. With a clear submitted proposal, groups/individuals will be supported in achieving their goals. After February break, those who chose to, may use art class time for this personal study. More to come, in a few weeks.
For now, I share with you a moment of joyful observation from today ( permission for this post, happily granted by student!)