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an elsewhere curricular adventure

the

learning factory


Contents learning elsewhere....................2 instructions..........................3 Lessons...............................4 From the Collection...................8 How We Learn.......................4 the developing child...............16 Games to Play......................19

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intro / learning elsewhere

Education is a platform for experimenting with how we learn and why. At Elsewhere we think of education as a framework for experimenting with how and why we learn through creative forms of social engagement – being together through collaborative activity and developing a shared repertoire over time. Despite what we may experience throughout our childhood and adolescence in formal institutions of ‘schooling’, education can be something malleable – something we can play with, an art medium and practice in itself. As such, a school doesn’t have to be a brick building and a classroom doesn’t have to be a fluorescent cube – a school can be anywhere and anything, at anytime. Rather, education emerges when shared interest informs an authentic community and a social exchange is informed by a meaningful and playful inquiry about the world and how it works.

So in many ways we can consider Elsewhere an evolving school through which the ongoing and reciprocal process of teaching and learning manifests through creative exploration. Within the openended platform of a museum inside a former thrift store, “education” is communicated through moments in time, playful and performative gestures, objects, people and the collaborative inquiries of building a place and a community together. Learning Elsewhere therefore becomes an ongoing process of negotiation activated as soon as you enter the physical and conceptual spaces of what Elsewhere can and may become. Unschooled, free to play and encouraged to fail and try again – Elsewhere provides a time and place to test the boundaries of what learning could be, in both real and imagined ways. 2


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instructions • Listen to John Cage while hunting for mushrooms at Brandt Lake

• Take everything out of your pockets and the bag you have on you right now. Arrange by color, shape, size and material.

• Bounce a bouncy ball throughout the day and measure your rhythmic motion

• Make a postcard from scratch and send to your favorite friends elsewhere

• Re-use all the wood in your house, make a table and some chairs – invite everyone you know over for dinner.

• Use mason jars to store everything in your refrigerator, even things that won’t fit.

• Prepare your favorite dish but add fresh ginger, stack all of your plates to the ceiling and make sure there is enough tea for the entire meal

• At the next formal meeting you’re at, propose a different system for listening, talking and interacting. Implement and try something new the next time.

• Make a soup with 3 friends, read your favorite book as you all stir together, switching every 10 minutes

• Choose a place on a map and walk as close as you can get. Record sounds along the way. Play for your friends while drinking tea.

• Illustrate an illustration from a book in your personal collection, ask others to contribute similar illustrations – compile into a zine

• Curate the closet you use least. Invite others for an opening debut of your re-curated closet.

• Pick your favorite song, compose a version with objects from your home, invite others to play with you

• Arrange the 10 oldest things you own in order from newest to oldest. Name this collection, your museum of natural history.

• Make a tin can telephone and extend it across a busy street, using ladders, high enough so it wont hit any cars. Listen closely

• Investigate a local history and connect it to your own personal history. Document the process and share with a friend.

• Mend everything in your wardrobe that needs mending. Some by hand, some with a machine. Mend something that you thought didn’t need mending, but actually did.

• Identify 3 places in your neighborhood that could function as something else. Draw a sketch of what they might be. Propose making these places to the people who own the property.

• Collect all of the collections in your life and place inside of one room or place. Take a photograph of all the collections with a numerical index.

• Ride a tandem bike with someone you haven’t spoken to in 2 years. Ride bikes together and talk later 3


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lesson ‘plans’ Make Your Own Bouncy Ball Materials • borax (found in the laundry section of the store) • cornstarch (found in the baking section of the store) • white glue (e.g., Elmer’s glue - makes an opaque ball) or blue or clear school glue (makes a translucent ball) • warm water • food coloring (optional) • measuring spoons • spoon or craft stick to stir the mixture • 2 small plastic cups or other containers for mixing • marking pen • watch with a second hand • metric ruler • zip-lock plastic baggie Procedure 1. Label one cup ‘Borax Solution’ and the other cup ‘Ball Mixture’.

4. The ball will start out sticky and messy, but will solidify as you knead it.

2. Pour 2 tablespoons warm water and 1/2 teaspoon borax powder into the cup labeled ‘Borax Solution’. Stir the mixture to dissolve the borax. Add food coloring, if desired.

5. Once the ball is less sticky, go ahead and bounce it! 6. You can store your plastic ball in a sealed ziploc bag when you are finished playing with it.

3. Pour 1 tablespoon of glue into the cup labeled ‘Ball Mixture’. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the borax solution you just made and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Do not stir. Allow the ingredients to interact on their own for 10-15 seconds and then stir them together to fully mix. Once the mixture becomes impossible to stir, take it out of the cup and start molding the ball with your hands.

7. Don’t eat the materials used to make the ball or the ball itself. Wash your work area, utensils, and hands when you have completed this activity.

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PlayTECH

Exquisite Collaborative Corpse

Many artists and art spaces are utilizing technology to engage and encourage participation with art works and processes. In this activity present a number of examples of artists that explore these concepts, using interactive technologies in their work.

Exquisite corpse is an ancient game that asks players to respond to some textual or pictorial input and continue to add a collective message or story. This is a tool that you can use in your classroom to encourage the idea of collaborative art making and process.

1. Start by having a discussion about technology and play in relationship to art making. Ask what does it mean and is it still considered art if technology is involved?

1. To start, use a warm-up activity that asks groups of students to add one sentence to a pre-divided piece of paper, then the next person would add a picture, the next response would be textual and so on.

2. Next, in small groups, challenge each team to develop a new technology, or build upon an existing technology/device that would help engage someone in art making or experiencing art. This can be a new app for a mobile device, it can be entirely online, it can be a simple technology used to make a physical sculpture more interactive.

2. If you fold an 8.5x11 piece of paper like a fan with 6-8 creases you should have enough for 2-3 players to go around 2 times. 3. After this introductory activity, experiment with different mediums like painting, clay, drawing or even performance art to get students to build art works together.

3. Sketch, design and mock up 3-D prototypes to present to the class.

Curating at Home 1. Work with your parent/guardian to rearrange objects in your home to construct a story or exhibition of “works� that might comprise every day objects, existing art works and other found objects. 2. Photograph your gallery, come up with a title and a description of the show. 3. Host an opening in your home with refreshments in the kitchen

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Art Cartographies

Live from the Tech Lab

Map making is an ancient art found in all corners of the world. Use map making and maps as a platform to introduce ideas of locality, context and place in art making and process.

Visual essays can tell a story and showcase a collection of media in an artful way. Make a short video, or photo slideshow collection to tell a story.

1. To begin the activity lead a discussion about maps, map making – how they are used and for what purposes? What does it mean to look critically at maps – to see whats not being included and what’s being emphasized?

1. Talk with students about the idea of a visual essay. Essays usually tell a story or discuss issues through text. The role of a visual essay is to do the same thing with images, media, and sound

2. Pull out a selection of maps, atlases and other materials that include maps. Challenge small groups of students to come up with a new use or interpretation of their map. 3. Present each new map explanation to the class and discuss. 4. Now look at artists who use map-making in the art practice starting with selections from the Situationist art movement that emerged in the later half of the 20th century. 5. Next, challenge each group of students to make a new map of their school or local neighborhood that calls into question a particular theme, issue or notion. 6. Ask students to think creatively about how the map can be used, viewed and how could possibly expand or be added to over time. 7. If time allows create space in the school for the maps to exist and be used by other students.

2. To begin your project, ask students to guess the stories behind sample images you can bring in from magazines, from home or other found media. 3. Group students into teams, ask each to come up with a story from their selected media. Encourage the stories to reflect something local and for the story to be humorous with twists. 4. Ask each team to present their stories to the class. 5. Next, give each team a camera or media device that can capture images, video or sound. 6. Organize a neighborhood walk and ask students to take photos or video, or collect sound during their walk. 7. Collect the cameras and develop the film or use a computer to upload data. 8. Challenge students to now create a visual essay using the photos/video or media collected. The visual essay should tell a story – something imaginary mixed with elements from the real life experience of the neighborhood walk. 9. Finally, set aside a wall in the school or space to curate and 6 display your visual essays.


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from the collection

the developing child

Bruner, J., Cole, M., Lloyd, B. (1972). The developing child.

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Some thoughts from Education Curator, Christopher Kennedy

a manifesto

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from the collection

how we learn

Time Life. (1987). How we learn.

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games for children

Kohl, M., & Young, F. (1954). Games for children.

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Learning elsewhere is a collaborative zine that explores concepts of learning as they relate to Elsewhere’s living museum and education programs. Inside find featured excerpts from Elsewhere’s collection as well as lesson plans and ideas on your future history of education.

606 S. Elm Street | Greensboro, NC 27406 http://elsewhereelsewhere.org


Learning Factory