(Videos in this post may be easier to view from a laptop or PC)
Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves, PYP Key Concept: Perspective
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 work together use creativity to raise awareness of matters that are important to them.
Note: Our line of Inquiry strives to place emphasis on three things: Collaboration, Change Makers, Global Issues & Citizenship.
Welcome back! This is going to be a long blog post (student video at end of this 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 journey to the whole school community. 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 to prepare students to ‘tune in’ to the idea of investigating a PYP transdisciplinary theme, Central Idea, Concept, make specific connections with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to develop an understanding that there are a variety of art forms, which they could choose to utilize, later.
Identifying Transdisciplinary Themes, PYP Concepts and UN Sustainable Development Goals
During our first week of art class, through close observation/analysis of various artworks, students had the opportunity to clarify their understanding of the PYP Transdisciplinary Themes and Concepts and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They have begun to consider how art can be used as a means of raising awareness of such issues.
Students have been exposed to the work or artists who clearly have something to say. Completely open to personal interpretation, students have worked as a whole class, to seek meaning, and identify the Transdisciplinary Theme, PYP Concepts and UN Sustainable Goal in various artworks. So far we have specifically observed the work of Jo Atherton, Yayoi Kusama and Von Wong.
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 is already a busy and exciting time, as students have rotated through teacher directed, art stations. All classes are contributing to the same 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?”
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.
Reflection and evaluation comes quite naturally. The art room can be noisy at times, as students are constantly engaged in talking to each other about what is working and what is not. As we are in the the early stages, some guidance is required in some instances, as they self and peer evaluate. Positive and constructive feedback is encouraged as they make collaborative decisions regards their next steps with the work. At the end of each lesson, a whole class moment of reflection is required, where students discuss challenges met, and any strategies they may be devising to overcome this.
The entire Fifth Grade are working rapidly. It has been amazing to see! For all of us, there are moments or great joy, and moments of disappointment. An artwork can be fabulous one minute, and ruined the next! Tolerance, forgiveness, acceptance, open mindedness, and perseverance are our words of the week! Two weeks of planned work is well under way, and in these early days students are requesting more. Together, we are making decision regards the introduction of new stations. And together, we shall decide, later in the year, and as a result of community feedback, which of our collaborative works we agree to being ‘presentable’ for the exhibition.
Below, I share two videos. Von Wong’s ‘The Last Straw’ and his artwork ‘The Parting of the Plastic Seas’, and a video of Fifth Grade artists at work.