Notan Creatures

The current UOI for Grade 4s is looking at the impact of human actions on animals and their environment.

We started off by doing a short lesson to learn the cut-and-paste technique for making notan designs. The results were quite striking and got us excited about the next step:

Next, we created a large-scale design based on the animal the students had been researching. In their design, they had to incorporate four aspects: the animal, its environment, threats it faces, and future (imaginary) adaptations to that environment. Students created some interesting compositions. For many, this was the first time they thought about an artwork conveying a message.

Landscape Collage

Utilizing the creative cycle, Grade 8 students investigated one of the Group of Seven Canadian landscape artists and researched a landscape they had visited before. Combining their research with experiments in various collage techniques, students created a reinterpretation of their personal landscape. Finally, students collaborated in small groups to apply integrative thinking strategies to reinterpret their definition of landscape art.

The final phase of the unit saw the grade 8 students collaborate to reinterpret their 2D landscapes as 3D sculptural forms. Students constructed hanging mobiles made of shapes which they had abstracted from their 2D compositions. In constructing the mobiles, students considered how to create a horizon line, foreground, midground, and background in a three-dimensional space and re-examined their definition of landscape art. Their creation was guided by questions such as:

  • What are the criteria for an artwork to be considered a landscape?

  • Does everyone perceive a landscape in the same way?

  • How do we create emphasis and contrast in 3D space?

Student visual responses to these questions are below: