1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project? (Please describe the context of your project, this can include influence from previous projects, context of your school, community, etc.):
Two years ago, we created a photo and small sculpture project based around the activities and outings in Katie’s Adventure Education class and then last year the arts integrated project was created by students in her Chicago class. We felt that we needed to return to the Adventure Education class by developing a different arts integrated project. However, this time we wanted to incorporate actual items from the various outings and field trips into the artworks. Katie also wanted to incorporate printmaking into the work because she found that the students were very engaged in this particular art process during last years Chicago unit. In our initial discussions, we focused on creating a handmade paper journal and directly embedding physical items which the students collected from the outings into the paper making process.
2. Big Idea: Memory
We felt memory is the overarching Big Idea because not only is the journal art work a concrete object that stands as a memory of the students’ findings on the outings, but also throughout the process of creating the paper and prints, we asked the students to recall their experiences from the adventures.
What can students learn by incorporating natural artifacts that they collect from community-based adventure activities into their art projects so that it assists in their ability to recall and discuss their experiences?
4. Grade Level:
High School Special Education 9-12
5. Academic Subject(s):
Adventure Learning is a class in which the curriculum is focused around several community based-educational outings within the Chicagoland area. Some of the outings included fishing, archery, campfire night at Graham, exploring Northerly Island and YMCA Camp Duncan. At these sites, students learned about nature, it’s preservation and conservation and students, took hiking expeditions, went camping overnight and used team-building activities.
6. Artistic Discipline:
For this project students created several handmade papers using recycled paper. They also pressed natural artifacts into some of the papers. Students also drew from memory some of their favorite adventure visits or objects from these outings. They them pressed these drawings into sheets of Styrofoam. Students inked the sheets and created block prints. Together all the work was combined into a book.
7. How many years have you worked together as partners?:
This is our third year working together.
8. Please describe your project:
Katie’s class created memory journals which illustrate and preserve the students’ experiences from their various community-based educational outings throughout this past year. The journals aid the students in their recalling and sharing of their experiences from these excursions. We wanted students to create the entire journal so we started with the pages of which several including the front and back covers are handmade. Students had a paper drive and asked the Graham community for used copy papers that teachers and staff would normally throw out. The class tore the paper up, soaked it in water to become paper pulp and then blended it along with construction paper to create a color of their choice for the covers. Using a mould and deckle the students learned how to create sheets of handmade paper with the paper pulp. For two of the five sheets they created, the students added various items such as tiny pebbles, sand, grasses, flowers and twigs that they collected on one of their nature walks.
Because we only had one paper making station in which only a few students could partake at at time, the rest of the class began drawing their favorite memories from their trips and activities. For example, Michael drew a fish in water because he enjoyed the fishing adventure. The students then transferred these drawings onto Styrofoam and rolled ink over them to create several block prints. Most of the prints were inked onto regular drawing paper, however each student inked one printed onto the handmade paper.
After all the papers and prints had dried, the students helped each other punch holes and use raffia to bind the books together to create the journal.
9. What were you hoping the students would learn during this project?:
Ellen: I was excited to introduce the paper making process to the students because it can be a very collaborative art making experience because there are several tasks that need to be done very quickly in succession. I found that the students were very willing to collaborate and work on the different steps. I was hoping that the students learn that art does not have to be an isolated process. Not only did the class help each other, but several times higher functioning students directed other students or assisted their classmates without any direction from myself or Katie.
10. What surprised you during this project?:
Ellen: I was surprised at the students’ reactions to printmaking. The drawing portion was very basic and the class even seemed bored with this process or needed help generating ideas, however when they each began to see how they could create multiples of their image, they were hooked!
11. What worked in this project and why?:
We saw a few things which worked very well. First, students were able to create two different art items for their journal since we centered our unit on both handmade paper making and block printing. In the beginning, we had several students who really enjoyed the paper making process while others tended to not want to partake because of sensory issues. These students were much more comfortable and interested in drawing and inking block prints.
Also, the campaign for collecting paper was successful because of the visibility of the posters which the students made and hung throughout the school. We had more than enough paper.
Finally, at the paper making sessions, the students really worked together collaboratively so much so that as time went by, the students were really working almost on their on with very little reminders from Ellen or Katie.
12. What didn’t work and why?
The process of creating the both art forms for the journal worked well. We felt a bit rushed in binding the final journals with raffia. We could have used a bit more time at the end.
13. What was your approach to assessment for this project?
The assessment was very similar to last years. It’s a student self- assessment. (see phot0)
14. How did you share your student’s learning process with others? Who did you share it with?
The recycling campaign in which students created the flyers asking for copy paper was the first step in the students sharing their process with Graham community. We also shared the learning process with Katie’s student teacher.
15. Did sharing your students’ learning occur according to your plan for social engagement in your proposal? Why or why not? Please explain.
Our sharing nature facilities did not happen as we would have liked because we ended up doing the work in the spring and we finished days before the set-up of Convergence.
What we hadn’t anticipated was the school field trip with three CAPE classes which took place in late May. We were able to share our work with the students’ peers and other teachers and para professionals on that trip.
16. How are you as teachers, artists and students social engagers through this work?
The work the students created is an expression of their experiences from the many adventure outings. Students engaged in recall and then creating the visual work as a form of communication with an audience. The first audience each student engaged with was their peers in the classroom. Even as we frantically were binding the journals during our final session, once again the students helped each other out- team work! Students did get a chance to look at other students’ work as they helped one another punch holes through the handmade paper pages, cut raffia and string the raffia through the pages.
17. Did sharing your project with others influence how you will approach future projects?
We relied on the Graham community during the process by asking staff members to donate paper. In future projects, we should invite them to see the completed works. Whether it be a whole exhibit or inviting them to the classroom for a demonstration, we should reach out to them and share with them know the work that the students are creating.
18. Standards Addressed: (Common Core and National Core Arts):
Common Core Standards
CC.K-12.SL.4 Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CC.K-12.SL.5 Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
CC.K-12.L.R.2 Conventions of Standard English: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
CC.K-12.L.R.4 Vocabulary Acquisition and Use: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
CC.K-12.R.R.9 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Our unit has these physical education standards and are connected to the English/Language arts standards in the following way:
Component CCSS Connection Sample Activity Component 1.1 Develops motor skills and movement concepts as developmentally appropriate. SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to person, audience and task.
Component 1.1 Develops motor skills and movement concepts as developmentally appropriate. SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
Component 1.2 Acquires the knowledge and skills to safely participate in a variety of developmentally appropriate physical activities. W.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Component 1.2 Acquires the knowledge and skills to safely participate in a variety of developmentally appropriate physical activities. SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Component 1.3 Understands the components of health related fitness and interprets information from feedback, evaluation, and self-assessment in order to improve performance. WHST.9-10.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on other’s ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Component 1.4 Understands the components of skill related fitness and interprets information from feedback, evaluation, and self-assessment in order to improve performance. W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Core Art Standards for Visual Art
HS Proficient VA:Cr1.1.Ia Use multiple approaches to begin creative endeavors.
HS Proficient VA:Cr1.2.Ia Shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present-day life using a contemporary practice of art and design.
HS Accomplished VA:Cr1.2.IIa Choose from a range of materials and methods of traditional and contemporary artistic practices to plan works of art and design
HS Proficient VA:Cr2.2.Ia Explain how traditional and non-traditional materials may impact human health and the environment and demonstrate safe handling of materials, tools, and equipment.
HS Proficient VA:Re.7.1.Ia Hypothesize ways in which art influences perception and understanding of human experiences.
HS Accomplished VA:Re.7.1.Ia Recognize and describe personal aesthetic and empathetic responses to the natural world and constructed environments.
HS Proficient VA: Re.7.2.Ia Analyze how one’s understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual imagery.
HS Proficient VA:Cn10.1.Ia Document the process of developing ideas from early stages to fully elaborated ideas.
HS Accomplished VA: Cn10.1.IIa Utilize inquiry methods of observation, research, and experimentation to explore unfamiliar subjects through art-making.