Teachers Connect
Jul 17, 2013

Institute 1: Final Project Thinking

When an artist creates a work of art, it is the culmination of a thinking process that gives the highest expression to an idea. The final project is where the “what and how” of the bookmaking can be explored in depth. Does the form I’ve chosen effectively communicate my story to others? Does the construction of my book give the reader/viewer not just an idea about what I’m saying, but how I am saying it? Have I experimented with different ways of doing the same thing? Did I start with one thing, but it evolved into something else? Is there more than one way of doing what I am doing? How will you explore these questions in your class as you work on book projects within the time constraints of the school schedule?


11 Responses to Institute 1: Final Project Thinking

  1. Grace says:

    Certainly time constraints are a big issue for bookmaking projects in the art room. I only see my students for 50 minutes once a week so an involved project may be stretched out over 4 or 5 weeks. In order to commit that much of students’ art instruction time the project would need to be engaging and worthwhile for the students and for me. In most instances it would be difficult to give the students free rein to decide what kind of book they would make so instead I would provide them the opportunity to be creative and flexible within a particular form. Our tunnel book project with Carol is a good example of this. We found ways to personalize the basic structure by experimenting with shaping and cutting the paper panels, adding objects to the panels, and using different media. To do something like this with my students I would show them a few ways to alter, enhance, or otherwise change whatever basic structure we would be using and encourage them to come up with more ideas. Sketching, brainstorming, and model making would give the students time to strategize ways to express themselves through bookmaking. Sharing their ideas in small or large group discussions at several points along the way will help them see other possibilities and/or solidify their thinking.

  2. Lila says:

    My goal for my Kindergarten class this year is to become a community of writers. This class has led me to broaden the base of my goal. Although art was always a part of their writing work, I will expand it a bit. Because I have 3 and 4 year olds and Kindergarten children, on varying levels of abilities, I plan to spend through the month of Dec. exploring art using the VTS method. All the children can participate with that. I plan on doing this in groups of 3 – 5 children so that they all can have opportunity to speak and share. I may explore several different artists with different groups. I will encourage them to share the works with each other. These pieces will be available for them to hold and study independently after the initial lesson. At the same time but separately, I will also introduce various mediums. Once it is introduced, I will put that medium on the shelf. This gives the children plenty of opportunity to work with and become comfortable with different techniques that may need several mini lessons depending on the child. The children’s art work is kept in a portfolio, and together we go through them periodically and talk about them. I will use the VTS questions for this as well if it applies, or I might just talk about books that put together collections. Then we will make a “collections” of their favorite works then we may take several works and put them into a book form. As the child progresses, I will challenge the child with new ways to make a book using the techniques I have learned this week. We will branch out into making many different types of book after January so that the children can have ample opportunity to experiment and come up with several satisfying projects.

  3. Zenola Jacobs says:

    Because of my subject area (religion), I would have my students read bible stories and visualize the meanings of those stories to create a tunnel book and pop-up books to interpret the story. As a result of time limitations which would not allow much time to create their books in one class period, it would take at least 3-4 sessions. Taking 3-4 sessions would give them ample time to read, think and apply…

  4. Talia says:

    I’ve chosen to use the tunnel book to have the students communicate their knowledge of American cities using magazines, newspapers and other informational text. What the student places in the foreground will be more important than what he/she places in the background. The layering allows the viewer to see what the student considers the most important information about a selected city. This can be incorporated into a social studies lesson for 3rd -5th graders.

    Students will be able to cut out photos, illustrations and text in order to make this layered collage. Students will explore text features in a fun and interactive way. (I have to admit that Michelle came up with this idea, but it is perfect for my ESOL students!).

    Accordion books may also be appropriate, but I will only know this after some experimentation. I will have to figure out what best fits in the American Cities portion of the social studies curriculum.

  5. Monica says:

    As the library teacher, I need to be the one who decides which type of bookmaking most effectively communicates the results of class work. One of my most important considerations will be that, because I only see students once a week for 40 minutes, I have to make sure the medium doesn’t overwhelm the message. In other words, the time to make the art book cannot be more complicated or take longer than the research time. The pop-ups that Carol showed us with Abraham Lincoln and Emily Dickinson’s face with an accompanying quote would be a great, yet not too complicated, medium for displaying biographical research performed in the library (and would be a lot more fun than the traditional text-based lesson).

  6. Sharon Clipper says:

    I am excited about incorporating the VTS method with the “Tools of the Mind” curriculum in my Head Start Pre-School class. Everyday the curriculum has two a designated “Story Labs” – literacy experience where children are read to. I will use these daily opportunities to incorporate art, the VTS method in English and Spanish. Extension activities will be designed to introduce the children to aspects of book making, with assistance. Many 3 and 4 year olds have not yet developed fully in the area of fine motor skills. Children will be in small groups to ensure development of language/vocabulary in English and Spanish. I will also enlist the help of parent volunteers. Another focus will be to have author studies, and artist studies. I am sure the children will enjoy learning in a more in-depth manner.

  7. evelyn says:

    I plan (am planning) to use a particular book (the Flag Book) as an organizational tool for teaching genre. The flags would be different genres of books in the library. I believe this structure will allow the students to effectively “take notes”by have the flags define genres with text, color,image or design. For example, sci fic could be a silver color paper etc. The expression and definition of the genre could even be without text. As I am writing and thinking about time, I am even thinking that the drawings could be made as a draft in one session on white folded paper as the terms are being introduced. In the next session , the Flag Book design could be presented, drafts handed out and the construction of the book begins-in the second session. I believe more successful than giving the information and creating the book in one session. I am not sure that I am presenting this tool as a place for students to expression an idea in their finished produce but rather as a tool for organizing material in a way that may help them remember the vocabulary.

  8. Beverly carpenter nickens says:

    The type of book that my 6 th grade students will create is the rubber band book. I would carry it a step further by teaching them how to cover the front and back of their book with colorful paper. The book will be on Shapes Into Forms. Students will be required to draw shapes, circle, triangle, square, rectangle, and turn these shapes into forms- sphere, cone, pyramid, cube, rectangular prism. The method used for this will be pencil, charcoal, oil pastels, or watercolor paint. This book will be created after all of the above mentioned media has been introduced in lessons. After covering the front of the book a form that was learnd in the pop up session will be explored based on geometric forms. Students will be required to write about their work

  9. Lisa H. says:

    I am looking forward to implementing many things I learned this week. I think the pop out cards will be great to teach the children to write thank you cards. We may have a box of ready made cards on hand to be ready to thank those who are present in our lives. Also, I think I would like to make the accordion book. This will be a blank time line and each page will represent 100 years. The art cards will be events that happened throughout history. Let us say that they study Rome or an author’s life. The time line could be re-used throughout the life of the class as different cards are placed in the pockets depending on the child’s research. (The children will want to make one though, I mean who are we kidding.) The initial lesson will be a lesson on centuries.

  10. Sharon Clipper says:

    I have enjoyed the experience of learning how to make books. With a few modifications for my Head Start Pre-School class (3 and 4 year olds), I would like to engage the children in making accordian books. Beginning in the first few weeks, the accordian books would represent a “timeline” of each childs’ life. I would ask each parent to initially submit a picture of their family, and an early infant photo of each child. During the school year, small drawings, paintings, and pictures of the children would be added to the accordian book(perhaps by advisory). This activity would be meaningful for each child as a long term project.

  11. Michelle says:

    I have several ideas of how to integrate the use of the books into my classroom in the first quarter.

    First of all, I love the idea of using them at the beginning to stress the ideas of collaboration and attention to detail.

    I envision using the exquisite corpse drawing during the first week to reinforce the idea that we all do things differently, but together (as long as we are all trying) we make a great whole.

    I would like to use the rubber band book as a science notetaking book as we discuss position/motion and design our own vehicle. Instead of a bug I would have them make a car, bike, or other moving object for their cover.

    I would like to use the flag book to teach text features across the year. In centers (or with a coteacher) my students could design each flag with the name of the text feature and an example.
    We could add to it throughout the year.

    I think the accordion book could be used for math. We focus on word problems in our new curriculum. I think students could write their problem and put them in the pockets, for other children to solve at a center.

    I’m not sure where to start, because the more I think about it the more ideas I seem to think of.

    I think the best way for me to utilize my time is for the book making to happen under the umbrella of “collaboration” or “community building time.” And for the details of the book to be included in centers time of reading or math. This is the time period that I have the most flexibility with.

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