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Snapshot from my class notes of my simple rendition of an exquisite corpse…a giraffe-hippo-duck! Sadly, I don’t have a picture of the large size Exquisite Corpse I made in class, but you get the idea…

Sample Grade 6 Exquisite Corpse project; Kris Fontes, Union City Art Department

Exquisite Corpse, Sept 13

I LOVED this activity…it’s extremely accessible, requiring minimal materials and lots of student creativity. I also like that it can serve as a spring board to many different discussion across many content areas. E.g. This art activity could lead to very interesting discussions/further study into Biology/Ecology/animal adaptations, etc. Kris Fontes work suggests a lot of potential for integrating issues of social justice into the Art classroom; meaningful discussions on body-image, and gender stereotypes come to mind. And perhaps even writing as evidenced by this surrealist kids literary adventure with the Library of congress.

Partner Visual History: Here I learned about where Josh came from…

A lot of creative + differentiated education options with choice of stitches My second art-class creation!

DIY bookbinding for adults + kids

Bookbinding, Sept 13, 2011

Things got crafty in our first Art Education class! Judah was particularly helpful in walking me through the construction process. It was helpful to experience this art activity from a student’s perspective. In particular I noticed how challenging it is for a teacher to explain how to make this to a class of 30 students. Many of the stitches and specific punches are difficult to demonstrate in a way that all the students can see clearly. I am wondering if something like a cooking class overhead demo. mirror is required...but is this feasible? I can see a lot of integrated lesson possibilities with this activity‌

Leaf-rubbing Video -A less messy alternative to what we did in class; cleaner, but arguably less fun! (Click title for video.) My first attempt at leaf-printing in 20+ years!

Printmaking, Sept 27

In today’s class, things got MESSY in a fun, kindergarden sort of way. I particularly enjoyed this activity because it made me consider negative space, reflection of images, and pay close attention to the properties of the materials I was using. Many of my prints didn’t quite turn out as I expected, largely because of the latter.

This activity could be used to introduce discussions about students’ sense of place and their local environment. My wife and I are certainly living proof of this… Excited about what I had experienced in class, I took my wife on a leaf tour of our local neighbourhood!

My lovely wife Namsu, and our baby-to-be



I had hoped I would have completed a 3-prong gourd of epic percussion qualities matched only by Desi Arnaz…


Percussion Anyone? How to make a kids’ TOM-TOM video

After a hectic resource package schedule punctuated by a really bad cold, this is what actually resulted.

Gourd Instruments, Oct 11 As Burns aptly observed, “The best laid plans of mice and men [and eager PBL’rs] often go awry. Such is the case with my Gourd project; I had eagerly started this project, but a month later, my instrument is yet to be completed. Reflecting on this made me think seriously about how I, as an emerging teacher, would fairly assess this if my students presented me with a similar outcome, especially if their reasons for their incompletion were legitimate.

Mythical Icons Video Haida Gwaii artist, Bill Reid

A [Virtual] Trip to MOA, Oct 25 Most of this week, I spent in bed, very sick with a particularly tenacious strain of the FLU… Thank God for the Internet! From my laptop, under the numerous blankets of my comfy bed, I was able to learn more about the elementary programs offered by the museum and the amazing sculpture work of Bill Reid. The MOA’s elementary programs seem to be a great place to engage students in discussions about Aboriginal culture and art, that could be then continued in the Art and Social Studies classroom. After some discussion in tutorial class, I wonder how a nonnative teacher can most respectfully introduce Native art and story telling into the elementary classroom? I remember doing a “build your own totem pole” art activity as a young child, but I am unsure whether this increased my appreciation for Native art, or simply trivialized it. The Appendix H of the BC Ministry’s Aboriginal Education document, Shared Learnings, seems like a great place to start responding to this issue in more culturally sensitive ways.

Other TILE projects: Pumpkin seed mosaic Some of my classmate’s tiles…interestingly enough, I forget to take a picture of my own!

Clay Tile-Making, Nov 8 I found today’s class FASCINATING on two counts…one by the sheer beauty of the Islamic art pieces Elsa showed us during her lecture (The Islamic tiles from Iran and Pakistan were gorgeous!), but also by the incredible craftsmanship and intelligence of the artists who built these massive pieces. On first glance of these pieces, it is obvious that there are mathematical connections to this form of art, but I didn’t realize how DEEP these were. In this regard, the posted Nature article was quite illuminating…before reading that I had no clue what a girih was! In addition to Math, I think these types of art projects lend themselves to natural explorations of different cultures with our students. E.g. Middle Eastern culture.

A girih in action!

Tangrams… Math, Tile Art, or Both?

Thankyou Elsa! Nov 22 “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” If we are to take Picasso’s statement seriously, then we need elementary teachers who take the arts seriously. Elsa, thank you so much for giving me a chance to explore my artistic side in such an engaging way. More importantly, thanks for reminding me of the importance of encouraging artistic discovery with my students!

D's Visual Journal + Portfolio  
D's Visual Journal + Portfolio  

-a collection of art work and accompanying reflections + resources for EDCP 301 with Professor Elsa Lenz Kothe