Tuesday, September 13, 2011

National Arts in Education Week - September 13th - Aliens in the Classroom

School can be tough for some kids who don’t fit the mold for testing and assessments. In fact, the current focus on measurable results via testing can cause kids to be labeled as poor performers because they don’t fit into a pre-defined set of criteria that determines success.
Art in the classroom can help those students experience success and display their talents in a way that may be lost in the multiple choice questions and quizzes that make up much of the school day. In some cases, art may be the first time a student is able to reveal their special skills that fall outside the parameters of reading, writing and arithmetic.

One area often highlighted when students work with clay is spatial orientation and 3-D thinking. If we want to identify future engineers, perhaps we need to look for those students who can conceptualize, design and build with their hands and materials – not just crunch the numbers. Keeping an eye on art in education helps open our eyes to the talented kids that may not express their abilities on their math test.
Today’s project for National Arts in Education Week explores life on other planets. First, students make an “alien oogly” with all the special equipment, sensory devices and extraterrestrial trappings they can imagine for their alien. Then, they create a story of the alien oogly’s life on their home planet. You’ll be astounded by the complexities of creations that students dream up when they let their minds go. You might even recognize an alien or two!
Click here for the lesson plan – Alien ooglys Abounding.

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