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An interesting sculpture lesson on silence – expressing without words


Art, Language Arts  


4, 5, 6  


Title – Silence!
By – Jennifer Dalke
Subject – Language Arts, Art
Grade Level – 4-6

Learning Standards:
25.A.2d, 25.B.2, 26.A.2f, 26.B.2d, 27.A.2a

Integrated Subjects:
Language Arts

Instructional Goals:
* Students will understand that there are many ways to express themselves without using words or sound
* Students will work in cooperative groups to produce a sculpture that conveys a certain feeling

* Construction paper (1 piece per group)
* Glue and/or tape
* Notebook paper, cut into pieces with different feeling written on each piece
* A large, open, grassy area

Anticipatory Set:
1. The teacher will take the class outside to a selected open area. Why do you think we are out here today?
2. The teacher will ask the students how they let someone know how they are feeling. The class will discuss the various ways to convey different feelings.
3. After experimenting with these ideas, the teacher will explain that there are many ways to express feelings without using words. Next, students will be told that they will be given the opportunity to try to convey different feelings by using things in the environment.

1. The teacher will ask the children to number off into groups. Children must use their fingers to indicate the group they are in, not their voices.
2. After the children are in their groups, the teacher will ask for one student from each group to come up and collect the materials.
3. The teacher will explain that the students will have about 10 minutes to find ANYTHING in the area, and to arrange it on the piece of construction paper in a way that represents the feeling they select from the bag.
4. Each group will select a piece of folded up paper from a small bag. This piece of paper will indicate which feeling they are supposed to convey.
5. The teacher will explain that when the time is up, she will begin clapping. Students should return to the appropriate area, clapping with the teacher until everyone has returned. Last, the teacher will dismiss the students to make their sculpture.
6. After the ten minutes are up and all of the students have returned to the circle, each group will take turns holding up their sculpture while the other students try to guess what feeling they are trying to represent. Then, each group can explain how their project conveys the feeling to them.
7. Finally, everyone will return to the classroom where there will be a blank bulletin board. Each group will be able to write the appropriate feeling on the board and hang up their project.

Teacher’s Role:
The teacher will only start the discussion in this project in order to start the children thinking. While the students are working, the teacher should walk around, but not give any instruction. If some groups are having real problems, then the teacher should try to say the bare minimum to allow the children to produce their own work.

Creative Question Suggestions:
1. Are there any other ways to express a feeling without using words? How?
2. Do certain colors have different meaning attached to them? Which ones, and what feelings do they convey?
3. This project could also lead into a discussion on pollution and recycling.

* The teacher should check the groups after they have formed to be sure that they would work well together. The teacher should switch students as necessary.
* Some students may truly be stumped. The teacher should walk around and spark ideas whenever necessary.

1. Students will be evaluated on their group work. Were they cooperative? Did they contribute to their groups?
2. Did each group produce a sculpture? Did they truly make a n effort to produce a piece that conveys their given feeling?

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