This is part one of a three part series on my Power of Art implementation plan and Asian art unit.
After being fully immersed in club presentations during my tour of the Lab School of Washington, D.C. (through the Power of Art workshop last year), I began thinking about how I could create those kinds of experiential learning scenarios for my students.
I wanted to start with the very next unit I’d be presenting upon my return: Asian art.
To begin, I considered what my implementation plan had been based on:
- Engaging students through classroom environment
- Providing students with authentic materials and tools
- Activating the five senses to make concepts “stick”
- Expanding my lessons / units to include a variety of enriching activities
This post will focus on Classroom Environment.
First, I took the pop-bottle cherry blossom activity idea from Pinterest (multiple re-pins, original user unknown). Next, instead of having students work at their tables, I temporarily adhered craft roll paper on the windows. Then, the students took turns adding their blossom to the tree I pre-painted on the paper. We discussed how rice paper screens are used as dividers in the home as students viewed examples of traditional and modern day screens.
The Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries have extensive collections of Chinese and Japanese art. There are fantastic teacher resources at their website: http://www.asia.si.edu/
These are some examples you can find at Wayfair.com and Sears.com
Just the simple task of taking the paper off of the tables and putting it onto the windows made the concept of painting a faux rice paper screen more realistic. We showcased these collaborative pieces in the 6th grade hallway.
*Note: When I developed this lesson last year, the timing was off. This year I ensured that we began this unit as the National Cherry Blossom Festival was occurring in Washington, D.C. The NCBF website features include: a prezi on the cherry blossom life cycle, a live web cam, and fun coloring / activity pages. Check it out! http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/