Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mayan Codices Results

Fifth grade is completing their Mayan codices art project: accordion books that used symbol systems to portray each student's "story". Here's a photo of a Mayan codex (the Dresden codex) made from Amate (bark) paper:
The "Timeglider" introduction via Smartboard worked well, and I left the fine artist connection (Beatrice Coron) until the following week so students did not confuse the social studies standard with the art standard (and the past with the present). Thank goodness my students had a good grounding in the concept of "positive space" vs. "negative space", because cutting paper to create symbols (like the Mayans, symbols told the story, without words or drawing) turned out to be a skill some students still need practice with (linguistic learners had the most trouble, spatial learners the least). Also, although all the fifth grade was supposed to start the social studies portion of the unit as soon as we got back from break, about a third of the homerooms were behind. This left the discussion of the Mayans to "art", which took up some of the studio time, but we managed nonetheless (synchronization of integration pacing is always something to allow extra time for). The very good news is that students really liked doing something that related to a topic they were learning about in another area. Some things I adjusted to support learning as we progressed: 1) how to take complex images, like Wii remotes or a downhill skier and simplify for a paper cut-out; 2)cutting larger, symmetrical pieces, before cutting out details--for example a softball or football; 3) using current logos as examples of simplifying complex concepts. Here is an example of a cut paper accordion book from 2011 (prior to the Mayan theme being introduced):
One of the interesting aspects of the Mayan accordion books, is that students are trading them and "translating" the images, which is a lovely synectic activity, I've greatly enjoyed the stories my students have shared with me from their codices. Fourth grade is done with their "plot mountains" and "narrative planning sheets" for the cartooning unit, and we are (finally) moving into the cartooning portion. We covered Language Arts concepts including: introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution (ending), protagonist, antagonist. Chunking the plot mountain first, then using that to fill in the first column of the narrative planning sheet was definitely a great Smartboard activity. Based on class polling, about 1/3 of third grade covers this material, slightly more in 4th, and in fifth grade they all do (but at different times). Lots of 1:1 conferencing on storylines. The main resources I used are at Read/Write/Think. Finally, the animations (thaumatropes and flips-video below) with third grade were very successful and students loved them! Such a simple way to demonstrate "tension" (3rd science standard) and "persistence of vision". I only wish we had done them on paper plates (larger) instead of index cards.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

About Me

My photo

The journey of process intrigues me and I am always changing it up.

Search This Blog