Thursday, 7 April 2016

The art of writing part 2

Somewhere I have started the art of writing part one, but I'm trying to use my iPad because I use it extensively in my classroom for my planning, and recording the kids work. Because of this it is the easiest way to reach the photos I need to share here on the blog. However I'm new to blogging iPad style and can't find my original draft.
Long story short, I have been asked to support the improvement of literacy and numeracy outcomes for the kids more formally than previously. However I am a firm believer that the arts done properly (not just pumping out crafty activities) can actually foster learning in both literacy and numeracy. There is research that supports this too. If you look in the side bar of this blog you will find links to some interesting articles about this. Anyway.... 
After researching the NAPLAN results from last year and looking at the suggestions for improving writing and exploring ways of developing ideas I started this term with most classes looking at art works that had a strong narrative theme. We used the VTS strategy to explore the work and came up with possibilities of what was happening in the picture and what it was that made us think that was the case. From there we discussed what might have led the characters there and what might happen next. 
We watched some examples of traditional Japanese kamishibai stories and dicussed plot development and had a go at developing our own stories using different frameworks across different year levels. Some of the younger children created a whole class set of illustrations for a story.  The children from the year 3 classes up had to select one of a number of art works as an inspiration to develop their own stories and keep in mind that they would be sharing them with the kids in their buddy class. Once they had their stories planned we set about creating the illustrations for our own mini kamishibai theatre stories.  We watched a little bit of this contemporary performance artist in Japan using traditional and modern kamishibai techniques ( it's what inspired the iPad extension activity for this unit)  
We made observations of Japanese illustrations and woodblock prints and discussed their style. We found they had bold black outlines  , they had colours that were clean and clear but not bright, the colours had different values, light and dark colours, there were lots of patterns and nature in almost every picture. The pictures had details to tell the story and they filled the picture space well with the action filling most of the page for illustrations. 
The children were asked to think about these things as they created their illustrations for their story.
After making their illustrations for each part of their story, it gets a little complicated. You have to write the text for picture one on a piece of lined paper an glue it on the back of the title page and then the text for illustration two on the back of illustration one. This is because as you draw out the title page you read the text for your first illustration which is still inside the little theatre! Eventually with the use of multiple demonstrations, illustrations and number lines on the whiteboard we've all got it! (I hope!)
As an extension activity some children will use the a book maker app to turn their physical theatre story into an electronic version. Until I can work out how to share the book maker app results you'll have to enjoy some of the still illustrations.

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