As of last week, after collaborating with one of my favorite Ohio peeps (Mrs. G) across the hall, our 2nd grade group sent off their artistic renderings of the role "light" plays in their lives. Meanwhile, a class of kids in the Sichuan Province of China has been doing the same, and we will receive their artwork in January. This is all done thanks to the support of Creative Connections.
Although this theme sounded incredibly abstract for 2nd grade kids, learning was scaffolded through brainstorming and discussion. Not to mention a wee bit of art guidance regarding the use of details to add depth to their stories.
I love the idea of telling stories through art--the focal point becomes the product itself, and it eases the stress of the kids trying to express themselves orally or in writing. This is especially good practice for language learners who have so much to unlock from within. They do write a few sentences about themselves and what their art represents, and that, in turn, provides delicious little insights into culture that might otherwise never come to light. (ha--couldn't resist) This is also how we learn about our partner's culture.
We also learned via the internet about different cultural highlights in the Sichuan province, such as the incredible diversity of nature, the Photographer's paradise in Ganzi, snippets of Chinese, (oh so basic), and the class' favorite--Leshan Great Buddha. So many ways to engage learners in this project.
Here are just a few of our 2nd grade examples. Stay tuned for our partner school's art next year!
|Fishing at the beach with sunlight to guide the fish to the surface and keep us warm...|
|Swinging under my tree under the stars and moonlight...|
|Swimming in my pool with my sister on a sunny summer day...|
|Decorating our house for Christmas with lots of lights.|
(*this one was created by a student who has spoken maybe 10 sentences at
school since he started 3 years ago!)
|Me with my brothers and sisters catching fireflies...|
|Getting ready to have a picnic with my little sister. (The little artist couldnt'|
tell us who was watching from the window.)