February 28, 2014

Class Activity

February was a busy month in the 5th/6th grade English classroom.  
It is so fun to work with a group of kids that are old enough to get a sense of humor and who I can (for the most part) trust them to do fun projects.

One neat project my class did focused on abstract art. 
I unfortunately did not come up with this activity. I was merely the facilitator.
The University of Alaska Anchorage each year sends out a select group of students in their education program to go out to the bush and observe village schools.
This year, two men came out. One was focused around second grade and the other was fourth through sixth. 
Fridays are usually not as busy, so John came up with an abstract art idea he wanted my students to help him with.

The project was that they were going to make a piece of abstract art made of rolled up newspapers. The fun part of this project was that they made it up as they went.  They could make it look however they wanted - hence the word "abstract". 

So John started the kids on rolling up as many pieces of newspaper as they could.

When they had a big enough pile, they started talking about what abstract art is, where they have seen it, etc. Most of them had seen some pieces in the Anchorage airport.

So where to start hanging this wonderful piece of art? Why not the light fixture?

Now my favorite part about this project was that my students did have a hard time thinking "abstractly" about art. So what did they decide to do first with the rolled up newspaper? Spell the last name of their favorite teacher, of course! 
And by favorite teacher I mean me…. in case you didn't get that.

So proud to be considered for their art project.

But once John added more pieces to the art, the kids got the hang of it and eventually made something really cool.

Overall, the students had a good time with John making abstract art. I guess it beats having a spelling test or reading quiz, huh?
Annnddd for the most part, they were well behaved. Of course, having rolled up newspaper is such a fine temptation for them, they couldn't resist. 
You know you would have done the same thing if you were that age again!
We had some sword fights going on and some pretending to be old men and women using canes - I guess I should have done a little more facilitating and a little less picture taking.

It was a cool experience for me as well to see my class and how they interact when I'm not always in front of them teaching. I really got lucky with this group of kids!

Thanks John for visiting!
...and sorry for just now putting these up online.

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