Bulb Archived: Harte Collaboration Laboratory 2016-2017: Mitchell & Suiter

2016-2017 Collaboration Laboratory

Please respond to the prompts below with your partner. You can upload images, videos and weblinks to enhance your responses to the prompts.

1) Big Idea:

Artifact, future, cultural identity and self.

2) Inquiry:

If someone were to learn about you 100 years from now, what would you want your story to be?

3) Academic Content:

Students in class are studying various cultures. The goal of our project was to create objects that represent their daily lives. The students developed their own stories to help them create their artifacts. We discussed concepts such as “what makes an object an artifact?”, and “how might this everyday object appear to future cultures?”

We also introduced the book “Motel of the Mysteries”, which tells a similar story.

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Faith showing the students various old cell phones to demonstrate why the technology shown in the book looks unrecognizable to the young students. 

4) Artistic Discipline(s):

We used technology and sculptural techniques. We also discussed museum design for the display of their artifacts in the final show. 

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students work on their pieces
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students work on their pieces

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

National Core Arts.

6) What is the context of your school, school neighborhood, or classroom that led you to do this project? (100 words or less)

A want to familiarize students with their personal surroundings. While learning about all of these other cultures, we felt this was a good opportunity for students to see what happens around them in their own daily lives with equal importance. Defining what “culture” even is, (culture of their family, culture of their school, culture of their neighborhood etc) was an important discussion. 

7) How many years have you worked together as partners?

This is the first year we worked together.

8) What surprised you during the project?

How excited and appreciative the students could be, even when immediately after an outburst. 

9) What worked in this project and why?

The combination of 3d and 2d, and the option to do more or less of either. Some students really loved the clay, and others got really into painting. They seemed to appreciate the option, and it resulted in a broader variety of work. 

10) What didn’t work and why?

It would have really helped if the class was divided into smaller groups. Also, by the last class we had the hang of how to distribute materials and which materials worked best for this age group– we wish we knew at the beginning. The thicker acrylic painting paper worked really well with Blickcrylic, and students seemed the most excited about it. 

11) What was your approach to assessment?

Our assessment was not only based on the outcome and appearance of the final project, but also on what the students themselves seemed to get out of it. If a student could learn a new technique (such as how to paint a straight line easier, or how to make 3-dimensional objects with pipe cleaners) then the unit was successful. Another goal was for students to comprehend what an artifact is, and how it appears differently through the lens of another culture. Student confidence and enjoyment of art in general is also always important. We stressed the unit as being about expression and individuality over whether or not a student felt they were “good at art”. 

12) Think back to what you each hoped to learn from this collaboration. What did you learn and how? Discuss how you supported each other’s goals.

Faith said: having the students reflect on why we learn about the past, and Antoinette said: learning to work with younger students. Each of us was able to use our experience to support and emphasize our personal ‘best-practices’, while simultaneously giving our co-teacher space to grow in the collaborative teaching experience.

13) How did the collaboration challenge your understanding of teaching, learning, and art-making?

The unit was quite a learning experience. We found it fascinating what drew the students attention naturally, and what didn’t. It was a surprise how regularly students had to be encouraged that there were no right or wrong answers and that they could actually do what they wanted in art.