For whatever reason, coming up with lessons for 3rd grade has been my biggest struggle. It’s not hard – but I always struggle on the border or too easy or too hard. Well, with October theming around things that “grow” I knew it had to be something good. And I kept coming back to Andy Goldsworthy. Of course, we all love his nature work – the idea that it is temporary and working with nature rather than against. I knew this would be a great conversation to have but didn’t know what to expect.
To begin, we had a discussion surrounding his work and with images of his work, we connected a lot of his ideas back to the Elements of Art. We also noticed that he created a lot of shapes, particularly a circle, in some of his work. With this in mind we traveled outside to our school’s garden. I had students find 3-4 pieces for their project and drop them into the class pile. It didn’t matter what you brought to the group because we would be sharing. As a group we talked about what we had found and how we could turn it into a sculpture.
Before you knew it, students too were using the circle as our basis. With stone as our anchor, we created our very own Goldsworthy-inspired project that would be temporary. After we finished, we had to have the hard conversation about “What will happen at recess?” and “What if someone destroys it.” But, like Andy Goldsworthy, we needed to accept that our project, too, was temporary. It was hard for some of my students to imagine that their work may not be there in the morning but we would soon find out. Knowing that we would be revisiting Goldsworthy for a few days helped. It was a great end to the day!
Soon we will work on nature-inspired projects using technology.