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Ms. Otwell’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Leslie Lewis Elementary School
  • Chicago, IL
  • Nearly all students from low‑income households

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My current 8th grade students are in their last year at our elementary school. They have been my art students for the past 5 years. In my time with them, I have seen them grow and change as both artists and community members. They have become more skilled and more creative. They have become more responsible, but also more fearless. They are not afraid to take risks and they are not afraid to fail. These are qualities that make them great artists, and great school leaders. Our school is a low-income school and students are working so hard every day to achieve. Art is am amazing refuge for my students from this stress. My 8th grade students are extremely passionate about art-making and love to collaborate with each other. At the end of every school year, I always ask my students what they want to do next year in art. Last year, this groups of students all agreed; they wanted the opportunity to explore more unusual materials, particularly three-dimensional materials. They all LOVE SCULPTURE. Sadly, these materials are expensive and hard to acquire with our regular art budget. I am hoping to help them create both small and large scale sculptures using a wide variety of materials. For one innovative project, I am seeking large quantities of saran wrap and clear tape to do whole body casting. Students will create human scale figures in expressive poses. I am also seeking wood block and wire to create abstract art. Foil, mask forms, glue and tape will make for lasting artistic memories. I want to make their last art experiences at our school something special. I want them to be inspired and excited. I want them to create great art, but more importantly, I want them to love the process.

About my class

My current 8th grade students are in their last year at our elementary school. They have been my art students for the past 5 years. In my time with them, I have seen them grow and change as both artists and community members. They have become more skilled and more creative. They have become more responsible, but also more fearless. They are not afraid to take risks and they are not afraid to fail. These are qualities that make them great artists, and great school leaders. Our school is a low-income school and students are working so hard every day to achieve. Art is am amazing refuge for my students from this stress. My 8th grade students are extremely passionate about art-making and love to collaborate with each other. At the end of every school year, I always ask my students what they want to do next year in art. Last year, this groups of students all agreed; they wanted the opportunity to explore more unusual materials, particularly three-dimensional materials. They all LOVE SCULPTURE. Sadly, these materials are expensive and hard to acquire with our regular art budget. I am hoping to help them create both small and large scale sculptures using a wide variety of materials. For one innovative project, I am seeking large quantities of saran wrap and clear tape to do whole body casting. Students will create human scale figures in expressive poses. I am also seeking wood block and wire to create abstract art. Foil, mask forms, glue and tape will make for lasting artistic memories. I want to make their last art experiences at our school something special. I want them to be inspired and excited. I want them to create great art, but more importantly, I want them to love the process.

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