For the past three lessons, Third Grade students have been involved in investigations to kick start the Transdisciplinary Unit ‘How We Express Ourselves‘, which involves connecting with the same Central Idea, currently, or soon to be, the focus of their Classroom Unit of Inquiry: “Through examining the arts, people can gain insights into culture“. In art, we follow the Line of Inquiry “Art is representation of time, place and culture, and understanding symbolism helps us gain a sense of the artist’s perspective”
Both in class and in the art studio, emphasis is placed on the concepts of Perspective, Communication and Connection, and the ‘Approach to Learning‘: Research.
The past three lessons could be seen as ‘small tasters’ of culture through art. Students have been exposed to a variety of art, by which an interpretation of symbols, can inform us of the location of the artist, climate, environment, values and beliefs. They have been ‘Responding‘ to art works through discussion of what we already know, personal interpretation, artist and viewer’s perspective.
Students have been exposed to Cave art, Australian Aboriginal Dot Painting, Huichol Yarn Painting, Ancient Egyptian Wall Painting, and Maori Design. For now, we simply observe. Which elements of art and principles of design are found in these works? Where do we find repetition, and of what? What could this mean, or communicate about the life of these artists? These are simply questions for now, as AAS artists investigate/research, through observation. AAS artists have had choices in the media they work with, and to focus on the style of art which interests them most. Whilst working, they have watched music and dance videos, and located the art on a world map.
In the new year, students will choose a culture of personal interest, to research in their classroom. They will be allowed to use the art studio to plan and create art of their choice, to support their classroom Unit of Inquiry. For those who do not choose to use the art studio to directly connect with their class work, there will be more of a guided inquiry into symbolism in art.