This is the fifth in a series of Legacy Posts about projects that happened early on in my art classroom. Recently I was able to tap into some archived photos that I thought had long ago disappeared. I’ve decided to write some blog posts incorporating these photos to share the memories and/or inspire others to try these projects. Some are very dear to me because I took risks with my students and the end result was big learning for all of us, especially me. Also, in my nineteenth year of teaching now, I realize that ideas, projects, and programs come and go, and sometimes come back again. These art projects are just a memory now, and I believe they are worth remembering and preserving. The first post in the series can be found here, and the rest of them follow. Simply search Once Upon A Time in the categories on the front page of the blog.
For the 2008/2009 school year, eighth grade stayed at the middle school, rather than going to the high school. The eighth grade teachers who had been at the high school were moved to the middle school. Sadly, I lost a beloved colleague to the redistribution. The specialists had met with the assistant superintendent the year before to petition for a change in our schedule. We felt that students viewed our classes as breaks or recess from their academic classes and therefore didn’t take the specials seriously. We felt that by meeting more frequently, students would consider their electives as “real” subjects, and we educators knew we would have a better chance of reaching them.
We were granted our request that seventh and eighth grade meet three times per cycle rather than two times per cycle. Grades five and six retained the former schedule. During this time we ran the seventh and eighth grade electives as true electives and I offered 2Dimensional Art and 3Dimensional Art for seventh grade and Art Through Art Movements and Fiber Arts for eighth grade. I am not sure how we ended up doing the Rainforest mural this year, because it doesn’t fit with the curriculum offered. perhaps the students who had painted murals in sixth and seventh grade continued during Art Club, project block or other times throughout the day. I honestly don’t remember.
One group of very talented students came up with an idea for the large wall along the ramp to the green wing. This was spearheaded by the same girls who had painted the daycare mural, Kelsey Campbell and Kendal Till. Kelsey and Kendall recruited several friends to help with the mural.
The Rainforest mural was well done and well-loved by the Miscoe Hill community. When finished, it was glazed with gloss medium to last for eternity. Here are some more photos: