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Monday, April 25, 2016

Earth Week: Kinder through 5th

Last week, we celebrated "Earth Day" every day in the art room. We used recycled materials to create our artworks. Thanks to some really wonderful staff and parents who provided us with recycled supplies, we had a bounty with which to work. I still have several boxes  CDs left over from the library donations!

Each class, we began by discussing why protecting our planet is important. Students from kindergarten up through 5th grade made points about how a healthy planet is good for all living things. We talked about how we can do small things like recycling to help with waste and pollution. One of our enduring themes was recycling plastics so that they don't end up in landfills, or worse, our oceans.

Ocean pollution is a real threat to our marine ecosystems. Almost all of my art students got the opportunity to recycle plastics in their art making as a way to re-imagine the material. Some classes went a step further in demonstrating art activism in creating a collaborative mural to raise awareness about ocean pollution.

Here are some examples of the work we did!

Kindergarten recycled CDs from the school library to make tropical fish! They used pattern and color to make the scales using sharpie markers and cut shapes for fins. They were incorporated into the art activism mural.

1st graders recycled mixed materials from donations and the art room scrap bins. They used collage techniques to create a recycled robot. One class got to use donated corn starch packing peanuts to make sculptures. Just add a dab of water, and VOILA!, they stick together! Another 1st grade class created Spring blossom trees with recycled paper bags.



I love how she matched the Sharpie hair to the yarn she chose.

The magic of corn starch peanuts in action!

A baseball player at bat!

2nd graders recycled plastic bags and lamination trimmings from the library to assemble jellyfish. We talked about how sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and eat them, which makes them sick or even die.
I didn't capture too many  photos of this lesson...womp womp!

3rd graders recycled plastic bottles by cutting them and coloring them with sharpies to produce tropical fish sculptures to go with the art activism mural.

4th graders recycled CDs by producing mandala designs with sharpie markers. They showed radial symmetry in their compositions.

5th graders got an extra week to work on their clay sculptures due to a field trip that happened during clay week. We did make some time at the end of class to discuss Earth Day and how artists can use recycled materials to make powerful works of art.

My intermediate Pathways class assembled recycled robots as well, but used more advanced building techniques.

I think we had a great time making recycled artworks. I hope that my students learned about how they can make a difference in their art making as well taking care of their planet.  Here are some additional resources if my artists want to learn more about how artists use recycled materials to make fine works of art.