Page 1

Sticks & Stones TEACHER’S BOOK






Sticks & Stones

Copyright 2017 by Hoopla Education Pte Ltd, 8 Wilkie Road, #03-01 Wilkie Edge, 228095 Singapore • All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior written authorization.

Sticks & Stones TEACHER’S BOOK Curated by Contemporary Artist

Paul Frank Wagner

The invisible is real Walter de Maria




Art is everywhere. You don’t have to be an artist to teach art. Every child is an artist and you can find great inspiration from anywhere, especially nature. This study outlines the ground-breaking concepts, ideas and techniques that are found in Land Art and other major art movements of the 21st century through activities to be run with children ages 3yrs+. Teach children to use their imagination using natural materials such as stones, and empower them to create a world of possibilities available to them at any moment of the day, without the use of the latest action figures!

Sticks & Stones makes use of nature’s loose parts: stones, sticks and leaves as well as mud to explore sculpture and painting. Children are naturally drawn to these materials and focusing their attention on raw materials, that have not yet been manipulated by man, is fundamental. Children will learn that art can be done with anything, anywhere, and with a simple intervention, material can be transformed to convey a lot of meaning.

The goal for Sticks & Stones is for children to produce aesthetic works of art that they will be proud to share, beautifully documented with the Sticks & Stones Children’s Art Portfolio. In addition, the Sticks & Stones Children’s Art Portfolio makes a beautiful keepsake children will enjoy looking back on in the years to come.

Everyone has access to natural materials. Go on a walk to the park and pick up some leaves, look on the ground for some stones. You’ll be surprised by how much nature has to offer you to use in the classroom. In addition to sticks and stones, you will also need pencils, crayons, colored markers, children’s paint, paint brushes and containers to finish certain projects from time to time. Teachers will need a camera or smartphone all the time to document the children’s works!

My goal as a Contemporary Artist is to entrust teachers to talk knowledgably about Contemporary Art and inspire a new generation of artists to use innovative techniques to express themselves beyond the confines of figurative art. Sticks & Stones removes your budget constraints whilst taking children’s art to the next level. Enjoy!

PROCESS One of the reasons that Contemporary Art lends itself so beautifully to young children, is that oftentimes it is more concerned with the process than the final output. Sticks & Stones follows a very simple process: 1. Explore – children are invited to spend ample time exploring matter and its properties, shape and form. Once children are familiar with the object, then we move onto providing specialized techniques. This process is identified with the magnifying lense icon. 2. Create – Sticks & Stones makes use of basic art techniques from drawing, coloring, painting to printing, in addition to more technical methods and procedures such as installations, layering and sculpture. These processes are identified with the draw, print, paint icons. 3. Document – The documentation process is fundamental in all Hoopla curricula and in Sticks & Stones can be identified with the camera icon. Here the teacher or children document their work by taking a picture of the final output when related to sculpture work or creating their work directly on their portfolio.


T HE ENVIRONM ENT Nature is not ours to take and abuse of, we are its custodians for a brief period of time, borrowing it for the next generation to come. When creating art using natural materials, be respectful not to impact negatively on the environment, being mindful to teach respect and preservation of nature. Create with minimum impact, allow for future use of the outdoors by leaving it in a better condition than you found it, this is of utmost importance. Don’t forget to bring back the stones that you collected for this study where you found them, once you’ve finished this module. Do not leave rubbish on the ground whilst collecting your natural materials. When children see a beautiful flower, encourage them to observe the flower, bend down and smell it without having to pluck it from the ground so that others can enjoy it when you’re gone. Thanks! A RT IST IC A LLY SPEAKING Most activities in Sticks & Stones were inspired by one or multiple major art movement(s) and/or major artist’s work. Sometimes it combines art movements in a unique exploration of matter. Our goal is to familiarize teachers with these movements and define them so you can feel comfortable conveying the basic concepts to children and parents whilst being confident to apply new and exciting techniques in the classroom. This information is contained within the activity goal in each activity. Below is a list of the main art movements that inspired the study of Sticks & Stones. Land Art Land Art is an art form that is created in nature using natural materials such as soil rock, stones, boulders, logs, leaves and water. Land Art was mainly inspired by Conceptual Art but also by Cubism and Minimalism and typically, is site specific. Sticks & Stones is primarily a Land Art project. Arte Povera Teachers often feel they are limited in their creative explorations due to budget constraints. In fact, this was an issue highlighted by one of the most important art movements of the 1960s called Arte Povera or “poor art” that grouped the work of a dozen Italian artists whose most distinctly recognizable trait was their use of everyday materials such as earth, rocks, clothing, paper and rope. Just like the artists from the Arte Povera movement, we want to empower you to use everyday materials – mainly natural – to do art and not feel limited by your budgets to facilitate beautiful works of art in your kids. American Minimalist Movement Minimalism emerged as a movement in New York in the 1960s, its leading figures created objects which blurred the boundaries between painting and sculpture, and were characterized by unitary, geometric forms and industrial materials.


Minimalism works so well for kids because it exposes something essential like natural shapes and forms, which are already naturally aesthetic. You can see this in nature with the honeycomb, which combines rows of hexagons together in a beautifully regular geometric shape. Another such example are the Fibonacci spirals that are found in nature – from pinecones to sunflowers. In fact, Minimalism combines a sense of form and geometry which is also an essential skill to develop for math, music and science. In addition to geometric form, we explore the principals of engineering by balancing sticks, wood blocks, geometric shapes, and building spirals as we create minimalist works of art. Conceptual Art Conceptual Art is art in which the idea or concept presented by the artist is considered more important than the finished product, if any such exists. Some works of Conceptual Art, sometimes called installations, may be constructed by anyone, simply by following a set of written instructions. Conceptual Art gives children the artistic freedom to go beyond an aesthetic presentation of their work, allowing them to focus on their ideas rather than on making their work “look good”. Children learn to see art beyond an aesthetic, visual context or experience, and can also play an important role in engaging the community. Conceptual Art is addressed in Sticks & Stones primarily through the example of the social project run in Greece, see Lesson 20. ARTI STS Below is a list of masterful conceptual artists who used natural materials that you should familiarize yourself with. Richard Long (Born June 2, 1945) Richard Long is an English sculptor and one of the best known British land artists. Long is the only artist to have been short-listed four times for the Turner Prize. He was nominated in 1984, 1987 and 1988, and then won the award in 1989 for White Water Line. He currently lives and works in Bristol, the city in which he was born. His work heavily inspired Sticks & Stones because of the way he presents stones and mud drawings with geometric circles and lines. There is a real poetry in seeing his stone circles in nature. Deborah Kay Butterfield (Born May 7, 1949) Deborah Kay Butterfield is an American sculptor. Along with her artisthusband John Buck, she divides her time between a farm in Bozeman, Montana and studio space in Hawaii. She is known for her sculptures of horses made from found objects, like metal, and especially pieces of wood. Walter de Maria (October 1, 1935 – July 25, 2013) Walter Joseph De Maria was an American artist, sculptor, illustrator and composer, who lived and worked in New York City. Walter de Maria’s artistic practice is connected with Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, and Land Art of the 1960s. His work successfully represents a concept like distance and bringing that into a visual context, such as what he did with the broken kilometer, which is composed of 500 polished brass rods measuring 2 meters. The rods are presented in 5 rows of 100 rods each. A great way for kids and adults to visualize distance (see photo on opposite page).

Walter de Maria, The Broken Kilometer, 1979. Š The Estate of Walter de Maria. Photo: Jon Abbott Coutesy Dia Art Foundation, New York


Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938 – July 20, 1973) Robert Smithson was an American artist who used photography in relation to sculpture and land art. Probably the most well-known Land Artist, he is famous for several pieces and writings but his Spiral Jetty sculpture (see picture on page 46) where he moved over 6,000 tons of black basalt rocks to form a coil in Northeastern part of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, is considered his crowning achievement. In Sticks & Stones, we will have the children play with small pebbles to recreate this masterful work in their Art portfolio. Andy Goldsworthy (Born July 26, 1956) Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist, producing site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland. He works primarily with ice, sand, mud, leaves, sticks, stones and rock. He explores geometric shapes and forms when creating his work. We will use natural materials the way he does in Sticks & Stones to create geometric shapes. Jayson Fann (Born February 19,1973) Jayson Fann is an American visual artist, musician, educator and producer. His work is centered around creating community based interactive art, music, dance and cultural collaborations that foster intercultural literacy, positive life values, dialogue and awareness. Jayson’s large-scale art installations set the stage for his productions that literally weave visual and performing arts with multi-cultural and environmental education (see photo below of his work).

Jason Fann, Spirit Nest Creation, 2016 Basalt, Colorado


Christo (Born June 13, 1935) and Jeanne Claude (June 13, 1935 – November 18, 2009) Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude were a married couple who created environmental works of art together. Christo was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, and Jeanne-Claude in Morocco. They fell in love through creating artwork together. Their works include: the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris, the 24-mile (39 km)-long artwork called Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and The Gates in New York City’s Central Park and many others. We will explore some of the early works from 1958-63 creating packages of stones. A nice way of focusing on the “act of gifting” or in this case wrapping an object versus opening and finding a stone inside. Carl Andre (Born Sept. 16, 1935) Carl Andre is an American Minimalist artist recognized for his ordered linear format and grid format sculptures. His sculptures range from large public artworks to more intimate tile patterns arranged on the floor of an exhibition space. Sticks & Stones features Andre’s sculptures with wood blocks which also explore balance and spatial awareness. Children can be challenged by balancing wooden blocks (such as Kapla) following geometric shapes laid by Carl Andre. It’s easy to apply Minimalism in the classroom, as it’s sufficient to take an object and position it geometrically for it to be considered art. Materials used should be natural, but perfectly shaped and cut. Also, Magnetic (Tegu) blocks makes creating this work even easier.

Joseph Beuys (May 12, 1921 – January 23, 1986) Joseph Beuys was a German Fluxus, happening, and performance artist as well as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist and pedagogue. His extensive work is grounded in concepts of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy; it culminates in his “extended definition of art” and the idea of social sculpture as a gesamtkunstwerk, for which he claimed a creative, participatory role in shaping society and politics. His works tell a story more than anything. We believe that children should be passionate artists and take social responsibility for the Earth’s environment and use art for a greater good. It’s our role to help children find their voice and feel empowered to make a difference in the world. In Bali, two kids started the “ban on plastic bags” and it has grown into a socially conscious movement where plastic bags are no longer used. Joseph Beuys’ work reference in Sticks & Stones is the “Seven Thousand Oaks” project. It is a work of Land Art, first publically presented in 1982 that consists of “stone planted besides an Oak Tree”. Beuys planted 7,000 trees over several years in Kassel Germany each with an accompanying basalt stone – with the goal of enduringly altering the living space of the city. The project, which at first was thought as controversial has become an important landmark of Kassel’s cityscape, the goal being to show that everyone is an artist, wanting art to extend outside the art gallery into the city. F ORMS O F ART Sticks & Stones moves the natural landscape into the classroom so that children can create their own works of art, rather than changing the landscape itself, as is typically done with Land Art. This study covers multiple forms of art, however, sculpture is by far the most relevant used because we are manipulating real materials like sticks and stones on a three-dimensional plane. Below is a list of terms and explanations used throughout the study for you to get familiar with. Sculpture The art of carving, modeling, welding, or otherwise producing figurative or abstract works of art in three dimensions. Installation Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that often are site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Drawing Drawing is a form of visual art in which a person uses various drawing instruments to mark paper.

Photography Photography is the art or practice of taking and processing photographs. You will be using your cell phone cameras to record the children’s work. TI MEFR AME Sticks & Stones is an art module that is comprised of 20 unique lesson plans and can last up to 20-25 weeks if run as a weekly class of 30-45 minutes each, depending on the age of the children. There is a combination of group and individual work: group work sparks collaboration and interest in the subject matter and the individual work helps develop children’s personal creativity and spatial awareness. Alternating materials is strongly suggested to keep children exploring the materials and challenging themselves throughout the study. D O CUMEN TAT I ON Documentation of children’s work is key to all Hoopla Education curricula, as our curricula is processed-driven and highlights the progression in the children’s creative explorations. In this study, children will build their own portfolio of work collected in the beautifully designed Sticks & Stones Children’s Art Portfolio. Sticks & Stones makes use primarily of sculpture and installation, highlighted with the use of the camera or phone (with camera capabilities) and recorded onto the art portfolios. Group works also need to be recorded into each portfolio. It’s fun when parents and children look back to see how engaged the children were playing with sticks and stones! Remember – you are partly responsible for the final output of the children’s portfolios. To make your Sticks & Stones Children’s Art Portfolios even more visually appealing, print some of your photographs on colored paper! SAFETY As with all materials, make sure you speak about the safety concerns with manipulating sticks and stones in the classroom. Children should keep all materials close to their working space and not wave or throw any of the materials to or at each other. Address any such instances promptly and remove the materials from the child(ren) if they do not stay within the safety guidelines you set for the classroom.

Painting A painting is an image created using pigments (color) on a surface such as paper or canvas. The pigment used in Sticks & Stones are primarily using tempera paint, mud, ink, markers, colored pencils, crayons or acrylic paint.



Week 1 - Lesson 1

Cir c l e t o S t o ne s Time 30-45 minutes Materials Stones, approx. 40, 10 per group Picture taking devise Sticks & Stones Children’s Art Portfolio Activity Goal The goal of this activity is for children to learn collaboration whilst exploring stones as a material, doing a relatively simple task. Children also work on developing their visual spatial skills and learn about their “personal space”. In this activity, children are creating an installation and sculpture by putting the stones on a plane, linking it back to Richard Long’s famous work of art, where in 1972 he positioned his stones on the floor creating three circles, each one inside the other – see Three Circles of Stones in Hayward London, 1972. In addition to running this activity in smaller groups as outlined below, encourage the entire class to act in one group or splitting the group into 3, each group being responsible for their own ring.

Social Emotional It’s important that this activity be done as a group because one of the main goals of this activity is to teach children to share materials and space together developing the collaborative skills to communicate how to create a circle as a group. Instructions 3yrs+ • Take the stones and put them on the table in front of you • Allow the children to manipulate and experiment with the stones • Ask questions such as: “What does your stone feel like?” “What do they look like?” “Do you see a shape of an animal when looking at your stones?” • Group the children into 4-5 per group • Tell the children that they will work together to create the largest possible circle. • Once the group is satisfied with their circle, document their circle by taking a photograph the Sticks & Stones Children’s Art Portfolio. Teacher’s Note Children ages 5 and under may find it difficult to create a perfect circle as they haven’t refined their visual spatial awareness yet. Have the children keep working on their circles until they are round. Oftentimes, one child will take the lead to create the circle, however facilitate group work as much as possible.


About the Artist

Paul Frank Wagner


Biography Award-Winning Artist Paul Frank Wagner 1970

Born in Paris February 27


Introduction to Minimalism, Pop Art, and Conceptual Art in New York City

Paul meets Bernar Venet, Christo and Jeanne Claude, Arman and Cesar


University of Vermont

First rope Installations and works using rope as main medium.


NYU Broadway Windows Show, New York City, NY. USA

Carl Solway Gallery “30 Ways to make a painting” - Cincinnati, USA shows

with Alan McCollum, Nam June Paik, Keith Sonnier, Christo

Installation at the Delano Hotel, Miami Beach, FL. USA


Exhibits at Scope Miami Beach, FL. USA


Art Basel Miami Beach first suspended installations at Wynwood Walls, FL. USA


Installation “Waiting for the end of the World” - Dolomites, Italy


Installation “Family Ties” - Wales, UK

Installation “35 Knots to the East” - Istanbul, Turkey

Installation “Life at the Dead Sea” - Amman, Jordan

Installation“Over the Stairs” Sardinia, Italy


Installation “For the Animals of the Forest” - Sologne, France

Installation “Intersections” - Paris, France

Installation “Homeward Bound” - Vietnam

Installation “Re-Constructing History” - Malta

Installation “Baliwood” - Bali, Indonesia

Installation “Organically Grown” - Oman

First Prize on Artslant Magazine Award for his installation “For the Animals of the Forest” Installation

Co-Founder of Hoopla Education and Art Residencies in schools all over the world


Installation “Fearless” - Wales, UK


Profile for hooplaeducation

Sticks & Stones Teacher's Book (sample)  

Sticks & Stones is a Contemporary Art Curriculum that takes children from age 3 on a journey of self-expression using natural materials such...

Sticks & Stones Teacher's Book (sample)  

Sticks & Stones is a Contemporary Art Curriculum that takes children from age 3 on a journey of self-expression using natural materials such...