Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Asian Studies

I nabbed these beautiful Asian inspired pictures on a garage sale site!
This year, I plan on taking a page out of Cassie Stephens' book and focusing on culture. Cassie did  a presentation for The Art of Ed's Winter Conference, explaining how she chooses one country each year and bases all of her projects on that culture. At first I thought "No way!" How would I do that?! After much consideration and research, I've decided to focus on one continent each year. I teach Kindergarten through fifth grade, so that means that the students would study every continent by the time they are done with my courses (I plan on tossing Antarctica in with Australia.)

I am in the process of coloring this map of the continent of Asia. The classes each have a small airplane with their class code on them (see photo below.) They have magnets on the back and the map will be taped to my filing cabinets, which are back to back, allowing for a large metal surface. We will "fly" to different countries in Asia and study their culture, clothing, food, holidays, and more. I am hoping to travel to a new country each month, but wonder if that would be long enough for the older grade levels. I only see the kids once every six school days for 45 minutes, so a month in my class is equivalent to a week in their regular classrooms. 

We have just completed the first cycle of specials (we run on a six day cycle with music and gym twice a cycle, art once a cycle, and media and guidance every other cycle), and in addition to learning the rules and expectations of the art studio, students created a sketchbook that looks like a suitcase with a little pocket on the front. This coming cycle they will create a passport to keep in the pocket and "fly" to Russia. Stay tuned for our Russian inspired projects! Here is the video I will be showing to get the kids excited about "traveling" to Asia: 

I also embedded the video into a quick Prezi to introduce our travels each time we travel to another country. I plan on moving the little place marker that is currently on Russia to whichever country we just "landed" in. Here is the Prezi if you are interested in it:

P.S. I plan on being much better at blogging this year! :)

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