Thursday, May 3, 2012

A is for Art 2012 - Composite Creatures

A is for Art 2012 - Composite Creatures

Conducted the lesson on composite creatures on 18 and 25 April 2012. 

Activity (1) - Create a composite creature to represent yourself

We began by guiding the pupils to understand what a composite creature is and may look like. Some animal similes were shared to scaffold the pupils on the linkage between the characteristics and the animals before distributing the template to the pupils.  

Every pupil had a chance to share on which animals their composite creature was made up of and how did their composite creature represented them... 

This is Qian Qian doing her sharing...

Many of the pupils had never or few chances of presenting in front of a group and more so in the area of art, hence most of the pupils were very giggly, soft and shy during this sharing... 

Ain and I imparted some basic presentation skills and told them that there would be more chances of sharing in every A is for Art lesson...=) 

Some of the pupils' work:
Maleha from 4 Care shared that her composite creature was made up of the wings and feelers of a butterfly and the head and body of a lion. She chose this combination as she felt that her temper was similar to that of a lion yet at times, she could be as kind as a butterfly. 

Celena Rose's (4 Diligence) composite creature was made up of a nightingale's beak, a lion's face, a cheetah's body and a sloth's tail. And she wrote...

"A nightingale can sing like me. A lion is as fierce as me. I can run like a cheetah and sleep as long as a sloth can." 

(4 Diligence) Farhana's composite creature comprises of the tail of a monkey, the body of a mouse, the spots of a cheetah, the wings of a swam, the neck + head + beak of a peacock and the legs + feelers of a cockroach. 

She claimed that she could climb like a monkey, run as fast as a cheetah, was as timid as a mouse, as sweet as a swam, as proud as a peacock and could be as sneaky as a cockroach... =D 

The two questions provided on the template were meant to provide scaffolding but the pupils still took a while to get started as they were too focused on identifying the animals that could represent them. So Ain and I tweeted the activity around and got them to focus on identifying their abilities and characteristics before matching them to the animals and this indeed made it easier for the pupils... =D

Activity (2) - Create a composite creature to represent the school

One factor that we took into consideration while planning the activities for each of the theme was to vary the medium in which the pupils create art with. The previous activity was with coloured pencils and this one was with ICT. 

Pupils formed their own group of 3s or 4s and surfed the internet for pictures of animals with characteristics that they thought could represent the school.

   in the process, pupils learned IT skills such as inserting pictures into word document and resizing of pictures too...

We had the pupils do a simple write-up to accompany their interesting creations
  • eyes of an owl represents that Jieminites (Jiemin's pupils) are wise
  • head and neck of a swam represents that Jieminites are graceful 
  • feathers of the peacock represents that Jieminites are proud of the school
  • the body and tail of a cheetah represents that Jieminites are fast
  • legs of a monkey represents that Jieminites can be naughty at times

(created by Susan, Delia, Bao Ping and Wei Ping) 
  • owl head represents that jieminites are calm
  • peacock tail represents that Jieminites are proud of the school
  • just like how lions never gives up on their preys, the lion's body represent that the school never gives up

Activity (3) - Matching Art Cards

Without showing the picture of the artefacts, pupils have to group the "dissected zoomified" cards based on similarities that they had observed. 

and after which, matched it to the complete wholesome picture of the artefacts. 

Pupils then paired up, choose their favourite artefact, read up on the fun facts that are printed behind the Artcards before sharing what they had read with the other pairs. 


After some discussion, Ain and I had also decided to provide reflection template after each art challenge instead of just having the pupils to write their own reflections without much scaffoldings. We feel that it would be too vague if we had asked the pupils to write about what they had learnt, did well or what can they improve on. 

We adapted a few questions from the Teacher's Manual to craft our guiding questions on the reflection log for the art challenge on composite creatures: (pupils' respond in blue

(1) Three things I like about the workshop.
- letting our creative juices flow
- finding out something special about myself 
- seeing my friends' artwork

(2) What did I find out about myself during the workshop?
- I had become more confident during the workshop
- I can be a composite creature by seeing my good and bad points
- I found out how much I like art

(3) Did you enjoy the sharing on individual’s composite creatures? Why? What can be done to make the sharing better? 
- have more of such activities 
- teachers can encourage the pupils more so that they have more confidence when sharing the meaning of their composite creatures
-allow the presenter to choose the next presenter 

(4) I feel _______________________ when I was doing the group activity because _____________________________________
- very happy; I can work with my group members and find out more about art
- excited; I get to search for pictures of animals to make the composite creatures and I also get to do it with my friends
- happy; I am impressed by what my partner had done. I hope we have more of this type of activity 

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