The fourth graders are working on a a Visual Storytelling Unit of Inquiry in which Art and Music classes collaborate to tell a story. Our central idea is that Artists can show narrative in many ways. This year, we chose "Where the Wild Things are" by Maurice Sendak. This unit also connects to the storytelling unit in the Homerooms and English classes that focused on Myths, fables and legends.
We are exploring as a class how to retell the story in a visually different way than the original book. The students have each designed, drawn, inked and painted their own original "wild things" monster characters. They worked as a group to decide what is the most important visual information to include in each scene. Students are not only working on improving their ability to work successfully as a group, they are also developing their understanding of how to create/use organizational systems to complete a collaborative project.
Currently, the students are brainstorming and practicing their illustration plans and gearing up to make final versions of each scene. Each of the 3 fourth grade art/music classes will create their own collaborative story. We have been reinforcing content covered in homerooms about the five main elements of a story and the many modes of storytelling. The students have discussed a variety of modes that we could utilize to tell our story visually. Two classes have chosen to use an old fashioned "Crankie Box" to videotape a moving illustrated scroll. The other group is going to put together digital photos of their artwork and use iMovie editing tools to create their video.
Through years of a spiraling curriculum, the students have been increasing their understanding of texture. This project asks students to use their skills to create depth in landscapes and to draw and paint a variety of objects and textures. and The fourth graders have also been introduced to several new techniques in shading such as stippling, cross-hatch, hatching and pencil shading. All year, Fourth graders have been developing their skills in using color to create shading and highlights.
I look forward to helping these great kids complete this important collaborative project!
Thanks for reading,