2020 is the year of the Rat, according to the Chinese Zodiac. In order to embrace the year of the Rat, my pupils embarked on creating a 2D relief Rat portrait, depicting themselves as the rat. This is a 2-hour art lesson, suitable for pupils from the age of 9 and above. My pupils were given a template to follow.
Firstly, they needed to colour the background with a main guiding question "where do you want to go for Chinese New Year?" Using colour pencils, they rendered the background and the head of the mouse. Pupils who were faster in completing their colouring, they cut out the rat's head. Subsequently, they use a red packet to design the costume of their rat. It was fun for them as they get to personalised their own rat.
Not only that this lesson is engaging, this lesson forced my pupils to focus on their cutting and colouring skills, and it also promotes decision making skill. These are essential skills that pupils at this age require.
How do you actually teach Origami, the art of paper folding that originated from Japan? There are so many resources online, thus you may be figuring out how should I introduce Origami.
Well, let's simplify things. As an introductory lesson to Origami, I wrote the word ORIGAMI on the whiteboard and elicit responses from the pupils. Then, I gave my pupils a challenge- to fold as many Origami animals as possible. Being the first Origami lesson, I used recycled papers as well as printing papers for my pupils so that I will not be wasting any good papers. For this lesson, pupils are grouped and they shared an Ipad to search for Origami animals on Youtube videos and Google search.
The results, independent and self-directed learners. For the whole one hour, my pupils furiously fold and fold and fold. They made their own selection and they discovered that even for Origami, there are different difficulty levels for folding, and they really enjoyed the process.
This is an art project that I did with my 9-years old pupils. We started off by looking at a portrait. I chose Georgette Chen self portrait. We discussed on the 'WHY' she had created her self-portrait and why she had chosen the medium. Then, I told the class they are going to create their own self-portrait, but they are not going to paint,. They are going to think creatively and design their self-portrait using coloured papers. They were so excited. Just look at the attached images. It is really amazing to discover what the 9 years old pupils are capable of creating today.
This simple art project not only forces my pupils to cut, paste and fold properly, they are forced to think creatively about how they would look like. They learn to make decision on where to paste, what to cut, how the eyes look like, the hairstyle, colour selection and more. This is a guided inquiry approach where my pupils actually enjoyed the process and proud of the outcome.