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: The power of embodying an idea.
Our curriculum offered a chance for students to boost self expression and self-empowerment through their own writing, their own drawings and designs for their own handmade capes.
What does it mean to embody an idea? How does wearing an artwork change how the students feel? How can we incorporate poetry, fashion and performance to empower students and encourage them to write and make their own art? Can poetry and art making be a means for student to explore their own lives and talents while building new ones?
3) Academic Content:
We explored Aztec, Navajo and Mayan poetry, Aztec Codex, indigenous symbols and images to make students own poems exploring magic, protection spells and self-empowerment. Through discussions of the history of capes as historic fashion items and in their popular images today in super hero and comic book culture, students were able to make their own cape logos, or emblems for their individual super powers, to identify their individual talents and personality.
4) Artistic Discipline(s):
We used poetry, indigenous poetry and images, drawing, fashion and performance with the students.
5) Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Core Arts):
National Coalition for Core Arts Standards
4th VA:Cr1.1.4a Brainstorm multiple approaches to a creative art or design problem.
4th VA:Cr1.2.4a Collaboratively set goals and create artwork that is meaningful and has purpose to the makers.
4th VA:Cr3.1.4a Revise artwork in progress on the basis of insights gained through peer discussion
4th VA:Re.7.2.4a Analyze components in visual imagery that convey messages.
4th VA:Re8.1.4a Interpret art by referring to contextual information and analyzing relevant subject matter, characteristics of form, and use of media
4th VA:Cn10.1.4a Create works of art that reflect community cultural traditions
4th VA:Cn11.1.4a Through observation, infer information about time, place, and culture in which a work of art was created.
6) What is the context of your school, school neighborhood, or classroom that led you to do this project? (100 words or less)
Louis Pasteur Elementary located in the southwest side of Chicago. The students come from low-income working class families. Offering an extensive CAPE program to Pasteur students is very important because they will gain knowledge of the cultural significance of poetry and fashion design.
7) How many years have you worked together as partners?
Julie and Luis have worked two years together now. Arturo joined our team this past year.
8) What surprised you during the project?
We were surprised by the very different and powerful poetry by the students, their enthusiasm to work with fabrics and especially their ability to jump into the role of performers for the auditorium performance of their fashion show and poetry reading.
9) What worked in this project and why?
I think this project worked because we had a simple and clear project goal. Our concept was tight and we didn’t have much room to stray.
10) What didn’t work and why?
I think if we had more time I would have liked to have the kids develop their performances further. As soon as they put on their costumes they began performing. They discussed among themselves all the things they were going to do in their cape. I wish we could have utilized that potential for performance further.
11) What was your approach to assessment?
Since we had a very clear objective to make the capes and have the students connect their individual cape icons or logos to the poems and talents they described in their personal writing prior, we had to make sure each lesson build upon the next to get to our final goal.
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.
Luis: I hoped to how to encourage students to share their talents and explore poetry as a powerful form of expression. I learned that using indigenous poetry and symbols was a great way teach history and writing skills to students. My goal as a the poetry instructor was to have a strong base of poems and talents, writing and content for Julie’s section to take over as the students made their own superhero logos.
Julie: I’m always eager to learn teaching techniques and classroom management from the teachers. These kids are lucky to have such great teachers, and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to improve upon my own teaching skills.
13) How did the collaboration challenge your understanding of teaching, learning, and art-making?
Luis: I’m not used to such collaborative and step-based curriculum building, so this was a wonderful chance to make a group-led curriculum and share the responsibilities of teaching and observing. This process challenged my own individualized curriculum building process to share in a joint teaching experience. I think students responded to this tag-team effort because they knew there was a team of people working with them towards something. The students seemed to respond to our energy and direction as a team in a positive and constructive way. As an artist this type of collaborative teaching has encouraged me to continue making work in this collaborative way.
Julie: CAPE has taught me to think of the kids not as students being instructed, but as fellow collaborators. It’s important to respond to their ideas, and show them you expect them to make a valuable contribution.