Bulb Archived: Ray Graham Training Center 2018-2019 : Morgan and Tritschler (2018-2019 A/R Partners)

A/R P BULB

1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project? 

When asking our students “what did you do this weekend?,” students often state that they stayed inside and did not do anything or go anywhere. This prompted us to create a unit to help teach independence while incorporating art! We wanted to integrate transition and advocacy skills by teaching students how to independently navigate the CTA to view free public art in downtown Chicago. We planned trips and researched various public works of art in the classroom. Students learned both the artists’ names and their different works of art within the downtown area, specifically the Loop, Grant Park and Millennium Park. Students brought sketch books on our trips and stopped to sketch what they saw around them.  As a culminating project, students  created some type of sculpture after viewing the public art. Students created their own small maquettes as a draft before they began working on their larger sculptures. These sculptures are intended to be placed in the school’s garden because it is public place where passers-by and the neighbors living in the condo next to the school can view the work. Some students did these larger sculptures individually and others collaborated in groups to create them. 

We also planned to host a “Snack and See” at Ray Graham to share our art with students, staff and community members. We hosted a “Snack and See” last year for the first time, and it was a huge success. We wanted to continue that tradition so that students could share their art!

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                Snack and See  June 13, 2019
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2nd annual Snack and See June 13, 2019

2. Big Idea: Independence

3. Inquiry: By creating artworks based on their own research of how to navigate to and from Chicago public art and architectural structures, how can students come to discover and identify ways to become more independent in choosing how and which sites to visit within the city? 

“How can I…”

The main question branches off into smaller questions that are more detailed.

  • How can I find ways to utilize my leisure/free time to explore art?
  • How do I research what public works of art are in Chicago?
  • How do I locate where these works are?
  • How do I navigate the CTA to go and view the art?

4. Grade Level: 12th grade and Post-Secondary Transition Skills 

5. Academic Subject: Independent Living Class

6. Artistic Discipline: Visual Art

7. How many years have you worked together as partners?: 5 years

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                        CAPE Partners at the Snack & See 2019

8. Please describe what you did and what you made for this project:

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The title of our unit is Art and About in Chicago. Before going on our two excursions/community based educational opportunities to view Chicago’s public art, we had class discussions about the art we would be looking. Ellen created PowerPoint presentations that showed the works, their titles and the artists’ names.  Together we created guide sheets of the work for the students to use as they viewed the works to help them recall the information about the art. However, before we ventured out, we had the students do a small painting project.

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Getting ready to paint the sketchbook covers

Sketchbooks: Each student received a sketchbook that they would be using on the field trip to draw both the art and the spaces around the art- the public spaces, the architecture, the people, etc. We decided to have the students make the sketchbooks their own by providing them with paint to design the cover of the sketchbooks. Ellen taught the students how to mix colors and how to blend them. (Ellen and Katie had their own sketchbooks too.)

Independent Living Content: In the classroom, we completed lessons regarding the work they would be seeing in downtown Chicago (pre-teaching).  Learning how to navigate the CTA to the public art is part of the academic content.

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Taking the Green Line L from Ray Graham to the Loop for our first field trip to view Chicago’s public art. Katie helping students with their transit cards at the CTA station.
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Ellen introducing the unit during the first session.

Field Trips:

Students sketched in their books while in the community and while visiting works of art around Chicago.

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Student’s drawing of Cloud Gate in his sketchbook.
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View of Cloud Gate from the benches where the students sat and drew in their sketchbooks.

Field Trips (continued):

These are the public works of art that our students saw and drew during our field trip: 

Millennium Park: Millennium Monument in Wrigley Square, Cloud Gate and The Crown Fountains

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Cloud Gate
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Cloud Gate

Grant Park: The Lions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Flying Dragon, Large Interior Form, Cubi VII, Fountain of the Great Lakes

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     The Lions at the Art Institute 

The Loop: Miro’s Chicago, The Picasso, Monument Standing with Beast, The Flamingo and Four Seasons.

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Taking a rubbing of the texture of Monument Standing with Beast
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Sketching while standing inside the sculpture of Monument Standing with Beast
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Sketching while sitting on Picasso’s Untitled or as Chicagoan’s call it The Picasso
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Sketch of the Eternal Flame. The Eternal Flame is in the same plaza as The Picasso.

Creating Our Own Sculptures

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Sketching ideas and creating them using wire for the sculpture
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Creating shapes with Twisteez wire

We asked students to draw their own images of what they might want to do for their sculpture. We found that this was too broad of a question as they were very hesitant. So instead switched to asking the students to draw their favorite lines and shapes. Students drew curly lines, hearts and a wide range of geometric shapes. Then we showed students how to manipulate the Twisteez wire to create the shapes that they wanted.  Students created their own small sculptures using foam (swim noodles) and inserting the bendable colored Twistees wire into the foam. These small maquettes helped the students experiment with the materials before they created larger versions. 

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Sketching shapes for the sculpture
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Designing the water bottles

For the final sculptures, the students used larger pieces of the foam noodles, more Twisteez wire and additional material. Students  gathered recycled water bottles, colored them with permanent markers and cut the plastic in spirals. Students created collaborative art pieces based upon their viewing and recall of the public art. Students used foam swim noodles, Twisteez wire, recycled water bottles, permanent markers, pins and gorilla glue. We had all along wanted the larger sculptures to be displayed outside in the Ray Graham garden so that passers-by could view the work. We placed the foam noodles creations on PVC pipes that we spray painted. To display them inside at Convergence, Katie borrowed rocks and large terracotta planters from the garden area that were not being used.

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        Creating Sculptures 
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Work in progress

Once student projects were completed, their work was displayed at Convergence, CAPE’s annual exhibition of work done by the Artist/Research Partners program. Students also visited Convergence at The Great Space at UIC to view their work. They were able to view and interact with the work of other students in the CAPE program as well.

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Ray Graham’s Independent Living Classes’ art work on display at CAPE’s Convergence Exhibition
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Visiting CAPE’s Convergence at UIC

9. How did you share your student’s learning process with your school faculty or community?

We hosted a Snack and SeeStudents curated their work and transformed the school lunch room into their art gallery. All school classes signed up for a particular time slot and attended the event. Students in this independent living class also set up tables, created fruit and cheese trays and other snacks to be served at the Snack and See. Throughout the event, students talked about their work and answered questions about it as as guests walked by their displays. Some students worked as greeters, some students worked the refreshment table and others presented the work. Every student and staff member attended, as well as the CAPE staff!

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Student presenting on her sculptural Snack and See 2019
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Snack and See 2019
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Snack and See 2019
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Snack and See 2019

Teaching Artist Assessment:

How did you assess student arts learning?: (ex. Was it formative or summative? Was it a written, verbal or performative based assessment? Were students provided with teacher or peer feedback? Did you use a rubric or portfolio system? Etc.)

Ellen: I created a summative arts assessments, and we conducted it at the end of the unit. This assessment was used as a reflective and recall tool for students. The assessment was in a written format but it was modified for certain students. were presented with a paper and written questions pertaining to the unit. If students felt comfortable writing the answers they could do that or if they felt more comfortable drawing the answers we encouraged that as well. Students answered the questions in written format if they were able to do so independently. Some students verbalized their answers when shown images and staff acted as scribes for them.

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Drawing on the assessment
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This student began writing (above) on her assessment but then continued on the back side to draw the rest of her answers. (See photo below)
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What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project?

I found that several students were able to recall the names of the sculptures especially when they were shown a photo.  For example,  a few students drew or wrote Cloud Gate as the most interesting work of art. They knew not to call it The Bean, which is nickname Chicagoans have given it because of it’s form.

What did you learn from analyzing the student assessments that informs your Arts teaching practice?

Ellen: I learned more from the students while they were actually answering the questions in class. Since there were several students who needed help spelling the words to their answers, I decide during the assessment to tell them that they could draw their answers. I will use this in the writing of my future assessments for diverse learners.

Illinois Arts Learning Standards Addressed: 

Introductory HS Levels VA:Re8.1.I a. Construct meaningful interpretations, supported by evidence, of an artwork or collection of works through describing and analyzing feelings, subject matter, formal characteristics, art- making approaches, contextual information, and key concepts.

Introductory HS Levels VA:Cn10.1.I a. Document the process of developing ideas from early stages to fully elaborated ideas.

Introductory HS Levels VA:Cr1.1.I a. Use multiple approaches to begin creative endeavors.

Intermediate HS Levels VA:Cr1.2.II a. Choose from a range of materials and methods of traditional and contemporary artistic practices to plan works of art and design.

Intermediate HS Levels VA:Pr4.1.II a. Analyze, select,
and critique personal artwork for a collection or portfolio presentation.

Teacher Assessment:

We used both formative and summative assessment throughout our project. We used formative assessment by monitoring progress and changing our plan as needed. We did notice that it was difficult for students to come up with ideas on their own/recall. When that happened, we purchased sketch books so that students could “record” what they were seeing on our community based educational trips . We also modeled ways to bend the wire and create different shapes and objects (spirals, flowers, blending many different colored wires together, etc).Students also were assessed on the names and the artists of the works we viewed. Through student-teacher-artist conferences, we concluded that the larger pool noodles needed something more than just the Twisteez wire, as they looked barren. That is when we brainstormed with students to add the additional material of the colored water bottle spirals. Students and staff remembered this from a previous project Ellen did with a different teacher. 

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project?

Students learned:

*How to navigate the CTA (with increased independence)

*Names, locations and artists of free public art in Chicago

*How to manipulate various materials such as foam, wire, plastic and markers

*How to care for materials

* How to work cooperatively in a group to create art

* How to curate and discuss their works and process with others (Snack and See)

Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, SEL, Etc.):

The Standards are modified

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.5

Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.6

Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.7

Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account