My third grade classroom lies within a dense inner-city community where my students are all living well below the poverty line. They have families that work amazingly hard and rarely have extra time to spend with their children, much less extra money for outside educational resources and experiences.
My students are driven and motivated to be the best, they are thirsty for new adventures and ways to broaden their own learning.
They are in great need of resources that can begin to help them succeed in an ever-expanding, global society.
Per state standards, students need to use a variety of media to create art. My school simply does not have the money to buy materials for students to truly express their creativity, so students continue to use the same dull materials over and over, year after year. However, with these materials, students can plan, design and construct art using different methods and techniques, all while accessing various different grade level standards.
Imagine if your third grade classroom had special railroad board that you could cut, shape and glue in seemingly gravity-defying sculptures.
Imagine that you would be able to show your art to other students and hear not just "Your art is pretty," but actually participate in a dialogue, developing language skills, about the parts of each piece that draw the viewer in, that intrigue, that stimulate creativity. All while using academic vocabulary. Imagine using these pieces of art to create group stories with characters accomplishing amazing tasks and daring feats.
"One art project" becomes students working with materials they have never before used making something they have never before made; developing skills in language, presentation, team building, cooperation; working and shaping stories in groups; brainstorming, writing, editing, publishing; and of course, building fine motor skills, self-esteem and courage to share with others. These materials would provide my class with art projects throughout the year - art projects that would allow student creativity to blossom while developing all sorts of other standards in various subject matter.
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