Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Art (Paper Construction) and Thinking Skills

In this workshop for upper elementary teachers, participants created ideal learning environments using paper sculpture and collage techniques.
The focus was on how art can help develop thinking skills and we took particular inspiration from the Studio Thinking Habits of Mind developed by Lois Hetland and Ellen Winner at Project Zero.
Paper architecture offers great opportunities for problem solving, inventing and creating using simple materials. Working in a group setting adds the added benefit of learning from the process and discoveries of other artists.
At the beginning of the day when we discussed goals several teachers mentioned working through perfectionism and fear of failure when drawing and making art with upper elementary students.
This sort of activity which begins with building and then presents drawing at the end as a tool for collaboration and communication can help get around some of those fears.
Below are a few different views of one group's combination of several learning environments to create a learning community.
The group had to take into consideration how to connect their learning environments and how flow and function would work together in a shared space.
The multi-level design allowed for great variety in use of space and highlighting features that worked together well.
The group drawing depicts the plan for connecting the different learning environments and presents a plan for a unified learning community.
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