Bulb Archived: A/R Partners 2016-2017: Soto & Terry

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.): 

In previous years our projects have focused on student’s exploring their identities through studying their cultural backgrounds and how their cultures impact who they are. This year we wanted students to explore their inner selves by thinking about what is important to them and the power they have to motivate others. 

2. Big Idea:


3. Inquiry:

How does the the process of sound creation (construction)alter a student’s perception of their emotions?

4. Grade Level:

3rd Grade

5. Academic Subject(s):

Science and Language Arts

6. Artistic Discipline(s):

Visual arts and elements of music.

7. How many years have you worked together as partners?:

This will be our 4th year working together.

8. Please describe your project:

Students will be creating drums out of everyday materials. The drums will represent the power they have to motivate others. By exploring what is important to them students will see that they can influence others with their ideals and that they have the power to help others change. Students created drums and decorated them with symbols. The symbols were three pulses that each represented an emotion. The emotions were excited, upset, and calm. The emotion that was most important to them was the highest pulse. On the bottom of their drums students illustrated a symbol that represented their power to motivate. When students were done with their drums they worked on writing creative stories about the power of their drums to motivate others. As a final performance they used the drums to beat out sounds that represented the three different pulses.

9. What were you hoping the students would learn during this project?:

We wanted students to be exposed to the concept that they have the power to motivate others through their creativity, emotions (and their expression), and that through their writing they have a voice to communicate and share with the world. We also also wanted students to explore the physical science behind sound.

10. What surprised you during this project?:

For the drum performance we, as a group, had to come up with the sounds that would represent the three emotions. We explored and discovered sounds that we thought represented the three emotions but were surprised by how many students came up with their own unique sounds to represent their emotions and motivation as well.

11. What worked in this project and why?:

Whenever we had to change things up it was never an issue because of our working relationship. I think we have become very familiar with one another so when things don’t go exactly according to plan we are both good at adapting and flexible. Students were really able to think about what is important to them and understood that they have the power to change things in their world. I think this worked because students were comfortable taking risks and really opened up. They also really enjoyed working on their drums and felt invested in their creation.

12. What didn’t work and why?:

The only issue we came across was that our final drum pieces did not produce a sound as loud as we expected due to the the plastic used being thin (household seran wrap). However, it worked out in the end because it stimulated students to explore a variety of different sounds they could make with their drums other than with the plastic ‘skin’ on the top. It also allowed for a smaller audience and a space for a more intimate performance.

13. What was your approach to assessment for this project?:

Students were assessed on their final writing pieces. They wrote creative stories in which they first wrote drafts and then revised their writing in order to come up with a final piece. Students were assessed using a rubric.

14. How did you share your student’s learning process with others? Who did you share it with?:

Students put on a performance for parents and school administration. The performance consisted of a drum circle in which students beat out sounds that represented emotions that were important to them. There were three different sounds in which students were grouped in. There was an excited sound, a calm sound, and an upset sound.

15. Did sharing your students’ learning occur according to your plan for social engagement in your proposal? Why or why not? Please explain.

Somewhat yes, in our proposal we were going to have students perform for other classrooms however space limitations only allowed us to perform for a smaller audience.

16. How are you as teachers, artists and students social engagers through this work?:

As a whole we thought about what was important and necessary to share with others. The drums and their stories demonstrated to the audience that they had a message to communicate with a level of invested energy, that was transformed depending upon the medium it was in e.g.: constructing a drum from common materials they are exposed to every day, reflecting on their emotions and communicating them through words, symbols and patterns, and sound. Through their hands, eyes, ears, and  voice they became social engagers sharing with the audience their power to motivate and transform.

17. Did sharing your project with others influence how you will approach future projects?:

In the future I would like to share with a larger audience. This year we ran into an issue with having a larger space something I would make sure we have available next year.

18. Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Core Arts):

Third Grade Reading: Literature Standards

Craft and Structure

RI.3.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

RI.3.5. Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.

W.3.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations. Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.Provide a sense of closure.

Art Standards

VA:Cr1.2.3a Apply knowledge of available resources, tools, and technologies to investigate personal ideas through the art-making process.

VA:Cr2.2.3a Demonstrate an understanding of the safe and proficient use of materials, tools, and equipment for a variety of artistic processes. 

Final Performance