We are back in school and my art room is abuzz with busy artists! Last week, as schedules were getting settled and students were trying to learn class procedures, I had them each create a portfolio (giant paper folder). They had their choice of medium, as long as their name is the focal point. Some used foam stamps, others, marker, hot glue, colored pencils and stencils, and pastel. But with a huge range of ability levels, I found that some students, and some classes work more quickly than others. In order to keep each student engaged in the creative process (and out of trouble), I kept a large piece of butcher paper a table.
I used green paint to divide the paper into round shapes, which were then hot glued, so that blind students could feel their boundaries and stay in their section. When anyone had some extra time, they were invited to use pastels or oil pastels and create a pattern within a shape.
My advanced class of low vision students made their own "mural" by dividing black paper with high contrast lines, creating triangles of various sizes.
It was a great introduction to not only shape and repetition, but unity and variety as well. Every class has students who are very unique, but we can be united as a community of learners, just as parts of a "mural" can be visually united. We also discussed the fact that collaboration means having respect for others and their contributions. I have a good feeling about what is possible for my students this school year.