Art at Green Woods Charter School
Through an ever-changing series of open-ended art projects Green Woods students begin to develop self-confidence in their ability to express their thoughts and feelings about themselves and the world around them. Projects become increasingly more complex, more challenging, and more time-consuming as the students move up in grade level. Art projects are used to support the development of creative thinking and problem solving, while striving to enhance the award-winning, academic curriculum that Green Woods is known for. Fourth through eighth graders are fortunate enough to experience art in two hour blocks of time, which makes it possible for students to create exquisite works, requiring great focus and skill.
In the younger grades, our projects will often derive from the sharing of wonderful children's literature. Beautiful picture books will gently guide us through learning about shape, line, color, texture, and other elements of design. Weather permitting, we enjoy spending time honing our observational skills by drawing leaves, trees, and landscapes right outside the art room. As first graders focus on a year long study of the pond habitat, art projects reflect and enrich this learning with pond drawings and collages, polymer clay tadpoles, frogs, and turtles, and beautifully detailed, anatomically correct watercolor drawings of insects found hovering around the pond. Second graders ponder and then replicate the hexagonal structure of beehives. They learn about the important role that migration plays in the life cycle of the delicate but mighty Monarch butterfly, as it makes its annual sojourn down to the forests of Mexico, arriving just in time for the Days of the Dead celebration.
The Fourth graders learn to weave and make clay pots, as the Leni Lenape tribe did in their settlements along the Delaware River many years ago. This watershed year is enhanced by the annual 4th grade trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to participate in a program called Art Speaks, specifically designed to introduce young children to the wonders of art. They also create entries for the city's clean water contest, and the Junior Duck Stamp competition. This year, the students are also creating soft sculpture fanciful fish. Each year, third graders enrich their study of birds through various 2 and 3-dimesional projects, both whimsical and reflective. They investigate the structure of leaves up close as fall descends, and find inspiration in the myriad shapes and colors that these delicate objects take. As 3rd graders venture into the realm of planets and the universe, we invite them to imagine what aliens might look like as they create their own sewn creatures of the extraterrestrial sort.
Portraits of all types - symbolic, abstracted, in the style of famous artists, just to name a few, will dot the landscape of middle school. Our goal is to become more familiar with the language and elements of art and the work of a number of famous artists. We begin to develop a comfort level with color theory, various media, and more advanced techniques. In middle school, art continues to enrich and support the academic curriculum through the study of ancient cultures and American history, through the science curriculum and through language arts, as well. It runs the gamut from Hopi Kachina dolls, to Flat Earth monsters, and from Roman theater masks, to low relief carving in the style of the WPA. We even make a brief stop in ancient Egypt to create our own version of canopic jars. Inspiration is everywhere!
I hope you'll come and visit and volunteer your time in the art room, if possible. No art talent or previous experience is necessary. We are so happy to share this creative time with you.