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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Allow Me to Introduce Myself...


It's a new school year and there are a lot of new faces and a lot of new names to learn!  This year I am staring off art class with a "hands on" (pun intended...you'll get it later) assignment that's all about me...or you...or them, depending on who's reading this.  

I did the usual introduction of myself but this year as Mrs. Heath instead of Ms. Dale!  Of course I had to go over school rules and expectations on the first day, but I also wanted to start right in with some art making.  In doing so, I offered my students the chance to introduce themselves with a little discussion and lots of symbolism.  The students started by tracing their hand onto a sheet of construction paper, they got to choose which color.  Then to keep it simple, we wrote our names nice and big (and decorative, if they were up to the challenge)


With the older students (which currently includes 5th and 7th graders for me...and in later trimesters will include 6th and 8th graders too) I discussed symbolism and how we can represent our interests and personalities with pictures.  With my 4th graders, we just talked about how we can draw pictures of things that show what we like.  I also introduced all of the students to my "no stick figure" rule which of course, temporarily crushed some hopes and dreams.  We brainstormed some possible symbols and then filled our traced hand with anything and everything we could think of to represent ourselves.  When they were finished, the students cut them out.


I asked the students why they think we made hands instead of just filling the paper or using another shape.  They contributed a lot of thoughts about how our hands are a part of us (some even brought up fingerprints as identification) and others talked about the work that we can do with our hands.  We discussed all of these things and talked about how hands can be used to greet (shaking hands), encourage (high-five, thumbs up) and show peace (shaking hands, two finger peace sign).  We also discussed that many hands can do great work.  So I explained to them what our end result would be, which is what you see hanging outside of the school office today.  I combined all of the paper hands to assemble a paper chandelier.  Symbolic of all of the individuals in our school that are working together to make our school a great place.   And hey, it also just looks cool!