Fifth grade students recently began their study of Medieval Art. They have been learning about visual narratives, and how art can tell a story, all year in art class. I introduced them to the 16th-century Stirling Castle in Scotland, where we discovered the beautifully carved Stirling Heads.
Each student was asked to create a ceramic plaque of.their personal hero. They listed three honorable qualities, three physical characteristics, and three symbols to describe their hero. Students first planned on paper before applying their design to clay.
Students used a slab-construction method to create a relief sculpture of their personal heroes. They added details with bits of clay and carvings. Each student created a ring a symbols around their hero.
Below is a video clip we watched in class to better experience the Stirling Castle:
Below is a video-demonstration of slab-construction:
Below are student examples, from start to finish:
"My dad is my hero because he helps me with homework, and he builds and flies planes."
"My mom is my hero because she works in a hospital, helps people, and she is very nice."
"My dad is my hero because he is smart, kind and fun."
"My grandma is my hero because she is very nice, always gives me candy, and cares for me when I am sick."
All of our fifth grade students will showcase their hero plaques at this year's "Night at the Gallery" district art show on Friday, May 2nd. We hope to see you there!
Sixth grade students recently completed a Baroque-inspired self-portrait. This year, I wanted to assess student skill levels at the beginning of the unit to compare to their finished projects. On the first day of our Baroque portrait unit, I gave each student a mirror and asked them to draw a self-portrait and use a range of value. I collected all of the portraits and filed them away for safe keeping.
Over the next few class periods, we began studying face proportions, shapes and how to apply value correctly. I demonstrated how to draw the eyes, nose and mouth as students followed along in their sketchbooks. I distributed step-by-step instruction sheets to each table for students to reference while they practiced. We also watched video clips of professional and student artists explaining how they draw the face.
At the end of our unit, I asked the students to again draw their self-portrait and apply the techniques they had learned.
Below are side-by-side examples of student growth.
See more student work here.
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