Last year the fifth grade class studied Greek and Roman pottery. We read famous stories from mythology and identified characters painted on the surface of plates and vases.
Our first project was to create a two-dimensional vase using black construction paper. Students chose the size and shape of their vase. Once the vase was constructed, students were asked to add an additional colored band of construction paper. Each student then drew a visual story on the band of color.
We completed the assignment with a study of the columns used in Greek and Roman architecture, ionic, doric and corinthian. Each student applied one of these shapes to create their own unique column and glued their vase to set on top.
After studying the pottery for weeks, students were ready to make their own. Each student created a small clay plate using slab construction, and a coil method to make the plate's foot. On the face of the plate, students carved original narrative scenes. Once the plates had been fired in the kiln, students began painting their designs. The finished plates were sealed with a clear gloss and displayed at Fine Arts Night.
The fifth grade art curriculum focuses on narratives throughout history. Students are encouraged to communicate stories and ideas visually with each unit. This year, I am planning to start the year with a project that encourages students to become creative storytellers.
I will present images from three to four different children’s books based on the story, Cinderella. I will explain to the students that throughout history, stories have been handed down from one generation to another. Some of these stories are told by word of mouth, while others have been told visually on walls, textiles and paper. Stories can be found in almost every culture, many of which we will be studying throughout the year.
I will pass out a number of children's books of classic stories, re-imagined through different perspectives and places. Students will be encouraged to create their own unique, re-imagined storybook.
Each students will create a blank booklet and fill the pages with drawings and text to communicate their story. They will be encouraged to make changes to the original characters or setting to create a new version of a well-known story. When the books have been completed, students will share their story with the class. Their peers will have to try to identify the original story and explain how it was altered.
I hope this will be a fun project to welcome students back to school and transition into our fifth grade theme of narratives in art throughout history.
Below are examples of children's books with re-imagined stories.
Mr. DeWilde's Blog
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