Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Totem Poles by 4th Grade

This is a project that I just can't quit. I've been doing it for several years now and the work just keeps getting better every year. Sometimes I wonder if readers get bored with seeing some of the same projects each year. Looking at these totems, who could get bored? 

One of the things I like best about this lesson is that it's hard. It's really hard for some kids. Good. The most difficult aspect of the lesson is drawing an animal in such a way that it looks like it has been carved into a totem pole. Negative space is essentially nonexistent. I tell my students that they need to use about 98% of their paper. It really forces students to entirely re-think the way they have drawn animals for their entire lives. It makes them learn!

I've been dealing with combined classes with 4th grade this year and I was initially concerned that it would negatively impact the quality of student work. For this project, it absolutely didn't. Students have produced more high level work this year than any previous year. The stress of teaching 34 kids at once has apparently paid off. Enjoy the work! 



Wow.

















7 comments:

Hagar Sadan said...

Hello ,

I love your blog! I am a doctoral student of Art Education at Teachers College Columbia University, NY. I am writing a dissertation study on art teachers and I would love to interview you.The study is on art teachers who teach some classes with students who have special needs. Thank you so much for considering. Please let me know how I can contact you if you are willing and I will send you the details. Keep us the great work!

Mrs. Nguyen said...

I love this lesson so much! Your students did a wonderful job! :)

Zach Stoller said...

Hagar,
Thanks! I'm happy to answer some questions for you. Email me at stoller_zach at dublinschools.net. (Use the regular @ sign in the email address. Sometimes leaving email addresses in blogger comments can get some spam going.)

Mrs Art Teacher Lady said...

Those are awesome! I love the walrus its incredible.

Ramona said...

Never seen this lesson done before - so please don't stop I think it is fabulous!

Mrs. Leu said...

Thanks for sharing your details of this lesson. I love how they turned out. I can't believe all the details you got out of your students. Amazing work!

Janis said...

I like how you tell the children that negative space is essentially non existent. That's a great point to make with the kids. Thank you. Nice work.