Huts to you!

  Today was the first day of a new quarter in the homeschool program I teach in on Wednesdays.  I didn’t sleep well, as new classes always seem to set me to worrying if I’ve got all my materials organized and all my activities well thought out.  Last night before bed I read  Teacher Tom’s  4/17/12 blog post about Teaching A Play Based Curriculum  and followed  a link to Is Free Play “Teaching?” from thenaturalplayground blog.  Both of these posts really inspired me.

One of the classes I am teaching this quarter is sculpture in which I have a multiage group of 13 students ranging from 8 to 14 years old.  In the past I have done a demo on sculpting with tinfoil the first day of class. Students have enjoyed this, but many of these students have taken my sculpture class before and I wanted to do something different. I had planned on having an open ended collaborative activity similar to the TASK party I attended with some recycled materials such as cardboard and newspaper tubes. After reading these blogs  I got inspired to have the students try and create a hut like structure.  The fun part I thought was that the sculptures would be large and require figuring out how to get them to be stable with fairly lightweight materials.

The kids really enjoyed working together and an amazing variety of structures were created.  It was fun listening to their comments at the end about how they got their ideas and some of the challenges they encountered.

I feel a debt of gratitude to all of the educators out there that are sharing and contributing to the professional dialogue that helps us all to grow!

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About francifularts

I am an independent art educator. I had my first experience teaching ceramics when I was 24 and worked in the University for Youth program at the University of Denver. As an elementary school teacher I always found myself integrating the arts across the curriculum, which led to me working as an artist in the schools. In May of 2008 I began a master's program with Lesley University in their Creative Arts in Learning Program. It was a truly transformative and incredible experience which led me to decide to devote the rest of my teaching career to teaching art, and through the arts. About the same time that I completed my master's degree in January of 2011 I was hired to teach art in two different programs. I have never been happier in my work as a teacher, and I really appreciate the wonderful professors and cohort of fellow teachers I studied with at Lesley University. I also want to thank all of the wonderful arts educators that I have met online through the TAB/choice list serv for their thoughtful posts and insightful suggestions for teaching art!
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4 Responses to Huts to you!

  1. Your blog is fantastic and I am really glad that you found my blog helpful. Your children came up with some amazing creations. You must be very proud of all the work that you have achieved with them! I think you have now inspired me to do some more work with my children on sculpture. My children start back on Monday and I think sculpture might be an interesting lead in……!

    • Thank you for your comment and not only was I proud, but I left work walking on cloud nine! I had such a wonderful day with my students! Because of all the other intro topics we had to cover during our first sculpture class meeting, we actually only had about 20 minutes to construct those huts, but working in groups of 3-4 students they could accomplish more than if they had been working solitarily. I am looking forward to next week when we’ll have twice that amount of time to engage with materials. I have fruit trees on my property which I prune every spring. I will be bringing lots of sticks in next class as one of the sculpture material choices. Perhaps you can find some prunings for your outdoor huts!

      • Wow! 20 minutes is a short time to construct those huts- you have some quick thinking students! I had a good start to the workshops although torrential rain one day meant we were hut building indoors using everything we could find from tarpaulins and sheets to paintbrushes, chairs and even drumsticks as tentpegs- it ended up being quite a magnificent construction completely done by the children (aged between 6 and 8) Thanks for your help and advice!

  2. Sounds like you had some great materials to stimulate your students’ imagination for the indoor huts! Did you take any photos?

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