I started by returning to the two groups who still needed time to finish up. The group who were doing shadow puppetry needed some rehearsal time for their four pieces about Alzheimers, running away from home and other intergenerational misunderstandings. The group working on dioramas on their agreed theme of kidnapping, finished their assembly of them and displayed them, including showing some of the storyboards.
After lunch, it was possible for all three classes to visit each other’s rooms in turn, to see what they had all done. We watched the performance of the four shadow shows, and the groups that were displaying the models of their dreams of what they would like to create for the school and the groups that made dioramas, got a chance to talk about them to the others and tell a little of their working process and ideas. At the end I was able to show them a slide show of photos taken of them all at work. It was good to come together at the end for this sharing and to have their Headmistress and the Arts Officer attend also so they had a chance to show them what they had been doing and enjoy their praise and attention.
A video of the slide show including some images of today’s sharing and of the finished work can be seen at https://vimeo.com/340941811
We began by planning our final sharing session, deciding that, given the time restraints, the groups would make dioramas of their stories. This would allow more leisurely approach to finishing the sets and figures than if we were trying to fit in some performance and script development also. The groups then set to finishing building the sets and painting them with gusto. After lunch they made figures and props devising stands for them so that they could be placed in the diorama. We will have time to finish the assembly of these next week before inviting the others in to view them.
I began by sharing some of my shadow film work and the students enjoyed guessing how the various sets were made in these. They then threw themselves into finishing the puppets and making the sets for their own stories using a mixture of collage and drawing. Most groups even had a little time to begin to practice their performance. We are looking forward to the final session next week when they will have a little time to practice together before showing their work to the other 6th classes.
We began by checking in with them about how we will share what they have done with the other groups in our final shared session. We agreed to exhibit the models they have made. Each group discussed if they preferred to label them / write descriptions / take turns to talk about them.
They then finished their pieces, and those groups who wanted to introduce their work prepared scripts. A couple of groups were finished early and took the opportunity to do drawings / models for other ideas on the list they felt were important also.
We finished by having a rehearsed “tour” of the pieces for each other and took any proffered questions and advice to allow for possible improvements / developments, etc.
The final pieces were:
A covered space for relaxation and meditation.
A house with rooms for various leisure activities eg: soccer room, art room, games room, cooking room.
A play area with a slide into a ball pool etc.
A roof top play area.
A pool with coloured changing rooms, diving board, kayaks etc
A hoody / sweatshirt with all their signatures inside a 19 to mark the year of their graduation.
Intersecting large scale scrabble tiles of all their names which would be displayed on a wall.
A brightly coloured playground with swings, zip line etc
In between sessions they had done some further work with Miss Ahern on sharing their storyboards (created in pairs) and creating new groups based on their interest in developing / merging a selection of these, so that they are now in 4 groups of 3 – 5 in number. They also did some individual creative writing following this. This morning they shared and / merged these to further develop their story.
I showed them a shadow puppet film I had made in collaboration with some other artists and introduced them to the overhead projector and then showed them some technical tips on how to make shadow puppets, encouraging them to test materials on the screen as they worked. They enjoyed the technical challenge of making the puppets and adding textures and colours through mixed media, coloured cels etc. We added rods as the puppets were finished. The teacher continued this work with them after I moved onto the next class.
We began by giving them a little more time to develop their stories in their groups and then a spokesperson for each summarised them for the whole class and took some questions which helped them to clarify things further. After their break I proposed a simple paper set and puppet form to tell their stories and gave some technical advice on how they might construct settings that the puppets could interact with, asking them to work in pairs within their groups on these. They seemed to enjoy this challenge and were absorbed by it for the rest of the session.
This group were interested in continuing with story making. They got excited by the theme of kidnap that came up the previous week and voted unanimously to work with this theme. We started by drawing scenes, and then after the break used role play choosing parts and then using interviews between a detective, victim and witness to begin to improvise a story, while taking it in turns to note down ideas and lines as they came up. Afterwards the group worked on putting these ideas into a draft story using a storyboard structure with each person undertaking to draw one scene of the story.
At the end of the session we wrote the blog as a group:
Last week we met puppets and wrote a story about who we thought they were, where they come from etc. and discussed them.
We read out some of these stories, and looked at some of the themes and ideas that came from them:
Theme of family problems: intergenerational disagreements, Alzheimer’s, missing out on daughter’s childhood due to overwork, “tension between father and a daughter’s wishes for future” etc
“I really liked the idea of the family arguing so I made two siblings be arguing like real life”
“I liked the ways you could find ways to link the stories and tie them together”
“I found it difficult to create something from nothing by myself” 7 students agreed with this.
But 5 “knew straight away what I was going to do”.
We drew out pictures of scenes inspired by this discussion and by last week’s work.
We shared them with the class. We hung similar scenes together and made connections between them. Then we split into pairs and developed storylines around some of the ideas.
We started planning our story and what we are going to do for the next while. We drew storyboards in pairs.
This week we looked at some artists’ work for inspiration. I also saw some of the class’s previous work on land art. We then continued brainstorming and developing our ideas from the previous week in new pairings. We added some new ideas and developments to our list:
names and leaves etc pressed into concrete in yard?
Picture of year use to paint this onto a wall
Scrabble / crossword with our names, added to each year on a wall? in yard?
Festival / Fun Fair Day: Bouncy castles, food trucks obstacle course each leaving class puts a splat of paint on wall and year
Put on a puppet show, about?
School animal farm run by an adult
Hand print with name on it
Eating in yard
pen sculpture with our names in it
Tips / advice book for 5th class maybe added to every year
Games in the yard
Alternative “sports” day
We then collaborated in groups of three or four to explore one of our favourite ideas by constructing a model of it from mixed media. We didn’t finish this yet so will return to it in the next session.
Brainstorming, Remembering and Dreaming
“We summarised stories in a sentence
We made up stories for Niamh’s puppets which we worked with last week
We remembered, then drew / wrote good memories of our time in school. 13 in the class really liked this.
Ideas of what we would love to do together to leave for the school when we go. 13 in the class really liked this.
We wrote the blog.”
The class agreed choices from all the brainstorms of what we would love to leave behind in the school :
- Names and leaves etc pressed into concrete in yard?
- Picture of year, use to paint this onto a wall
- Scrabble / crossword with our names, added to each year on a wall? in yard?
- Festival: Bouncy castles, food trucks, obstacle course, each leaving class puts a splat of paint on wall and their year eg: 2019
- Put on a puppet show, about?
- School animal farm ( run by an adult?)
- Hand print with name on it
- Being allowed to eat in yard
- pen sculpture with our names in it
- Tips / advice book for 5th class, maybe added to every year