2ND Grade Dangos – Form and Pattern

Students really loved this lesson.  It was a lesson I did when I student taught, stolen from the glorious TJ Lechtenburg but, of course, tweaked to student needs.  I completed this lesson in March with all of my 2nd graders. There was some added steps but overall the work is very fun.  Students, of course, love clay – so that engages them immediately.  It’s not a quick lesson and clay management like this in 2nd grade can be tricky but if you go with the flow and continue to make the effort to emphasis your purpose, students truly come out on top.  Bonus? Well, some might not think so – but in the end, the Dangos also make good whistles if you poke a hole in the bottom (to make them dry quickly).

Learning Targets – What should students be able to do?
Students demonstrate they have the ability to independently apply form, collaboratively brainstorm multiple solutions to a creative problem and articulate a plan and make art to solve a creative problem.

What are indicators that students have reached the goal? What does it look like?
Students will create a 3D sculpture of form using clay after brainstorming what their own Dango sculpture can look like.  Students will have created a plan that they use to follow through with their artwork.  Students artwork will show form that takes up space and patterns in which line and shape are used.

Activities/Lesson Segments
1) Vocabulary – Form and Pattern.  Students use various art forms to collaboratively define and apply both form and pattern.  They can act out tableaus, body shapes or create rhythmic patterns with sound.  A good way to assess understanding quickly would be to have them create a drawing or object with clay.
2) Form Dance – With emphasis on form, students individual create a dance movement and forms with their body – large, small, open, closed, low, medium and high.
3) Introduction to Jun Kaneko’s Dangos – Students are introduced to the work of Jun Kaneko and his sculptures, which can be found in our own city.  Students use Visual Thinking Strategies to explore his work and draw personal conclusions about what forms and patterns he uses.4)Dango Brainstorm – Students brainstorm and plan out multiple ideas for their own mini-Dangos, including patterns and color.
5) Modeling Clay Practice – Students practice making pinch pot bowls and connecting them together to create the hollow sphere.  Through this, students collaboratively brainstorm solutions and come up with an action plan to create the amount of Dangos we will need as a class.
6) Ceramics – Students use their action plan to create mini-Dangos, about the size of an adult fist.
7) After Dangos are fired, students decorate them with their chosen patterns using colored crayons (crayon resist). Students will then dip the clay pieces in black ink/tempera paint and the instructor will cover with a clear coat.
8) Gallery Walk – Students work together to assess their work and understanding of form and pattern.  What patterns do they find around the classroom?  How do different forms affect the different patterns we find?  If you could repeat the process, what have you learned that would improve your design.

Photographs, Action Plan, Dangos, Brainstorm, Modeling Clay Practice, Observation


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