Celtic Knots and the Art of MathematicsPosted by Eric Werner
Seventh and eighth graders have learned the basics of drawing Celtic Knots. Through trial and error, students learn the fundamentals of how a knot can occupy a given space, how to create barriers, how to loop ends, how to explore freeform designs, and how every knot winds up self-correcting to an over-under pattern. Students have been inspired to spend break/snack time in my math classroom to design new knots, improve old designs and share what they have created.
El Tiempo – The WeatherPosted by Ms. Fernandez
After studying the Spanish vocabulary needed to discuss and understand the weather, Grades 3 and 4 built their very own weather stations in the Makerspace. The students enjoyed expanding on what they learned in Spanish class by going deeper into the science of weather and designing their own weather stations. Their simple construction materials included paper cups, popsicle sticks, strings of hair and more.
Annual All-School Art ShowPosted by Krissy Ponden
Each year the Unquowa gym is transformed into a magnificent art gallery with work displayed from all students in the school. A true retrospective of the year in art, projects range from painting, to ceramic, printmaking, and more. It is a wonderful opportunity to see the scope of work that the students accomplish throughout the year, and the younger students eagerly anticipate their own turn to create some of the beloved traditional projects like the 7th grade Lichtenstein self-portraits, or the 3rd grade clay chickens. Throughout the year students work on developing their artistic skills while learning about different artists, art forms, and art movements. Their best work is then collected and hung in one large-scale exhibit for the whole school community to view and appreciate. This year featured several Gator Garage makerspace collaborations including the 4th graders’ fun handmade lamps, and the 8th graders’ framed branch weavings. We hope to expand the presence of makerspace projects on view in the future as we continue to expose students to unique opportunities and contemporary ideas of what art can be. The art show once again demonstrated the importance that Unquowa places on the arts and the skill and excitement with which our talented students rise to the occasion.
When Art and Math Collide: Op Art IcosahedronsPosted by Krissy Ponden
Bridget Riley was one of the most influential artists of the Op Art movement of the 1960’s. She painted large scale optical illusions, first using only black and white, to create complex images that tricked the eye. Soon the bold and vibrant designs caught on and became a part of the mod aesthetic of the era, and Op Art was seen everywhere from fashion to advertising. The seventh graders looked at examples of Riley’s art and then learned how to create their own illusions. We then combined this idea with a geometry concept by drawing our illusions on a three dimensional shape called an icosahedron, a polyhedron composed of 20 equilateral triangular faces. The students created a template from a single sheet of paper and then decorated it in black and white optical art designs. Look for them hanging from the art room ceiling soon!
A Lesson in Medieval Heraldry and Coats of ArmsPosted by Krissy Ponden
This year for our annual Winterfest project students in seventh grade created detailed Coats of Arms to represent either their own ancestry, or an imagined family history. They researched their names and also learned about the rules of heraldry, the way by which people identified their birth order and status in Medieval times. The students designed a crest, or coat of arms, with symbols and images that represented them or appealed to them and painted their designs in bold colors. They also added a banner at the bottom with either a family name or a phrase. Some students even chose to use a foreign language to signify their heritage. The richly ornamented finished projects were displayed around the castle walls during the Winterfest production.
The Art of Our Early AncestorsPosted by Krissy Ponden
It’s hard to imagine, but thousands of years ago man had the same inexplicable desire to create that artists do today. Prehistoric art is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of our early ancestors, who painted with surprising detail and artistic talent. The oldest known murals and carvings are found in the Lascaux caves in France and date back to 17,000 years ago.
The fifth graders learned about Lascaux and viewed some of the rare and inaccessible images inside the cave. We then worked on a project replicating the painting (pictographs) and carving (petroglyphs) techniques. The students etched images telling a story of their imagined ancestors including where they lived, what they ate, and how they dressed. We learned about simple ways to express forms and shapes. Students then carved a rubber stamp and printed a repeating symbol around the outside of their “rock wall,” which was dirtied up with chalk to give the impression of age.