You don’t have to be an art teacher to bring your students in contact with art! The “Art connects Us” project (Best Project Award and European Prize age category 4 -11 Runner-up), combined subjects across the curriculum to spark pupils’ interest in art and let them unfold their creativity! So how did this happen? Read the project’s story and you will find out! Hint: the best way for students to find out the story behind a painting is to let them explore it!
ICT, Foreign Languages (mostly English), Culture, Music, Art, Drama, Cross Curricular, Geography, Language and Literature, Regional Education, Physical Education, Religion. What do all these subjects have in common? They can be used to promote cultural awareness and creativity! Instead of having their students memorising history of arts from books, schools participating in the “Art Connects Us” project decided to take a more interactive approach:
Step 1: Each school chose a representative painter/ artist from their country
Step 2: They presented online their artist’s biography and examples of his/her masterpieces to the rest of the schools.
Step3: Pupils were free to get inspired by these masterpieces, and created their own pictures and held exhibitions of international art in their own schools.
In addition, students organised the project Twinspace with many tools and created quizzes, crosswords and puzzles, they created and proposed designs for the project logo and voted for their preferred one and they also composed and sang the project hymn.
But this was just the beginning! The students put themselves in the artists’ shoes and created their own illustrated stories using those artists’ painting techniques and afterwards they published their stories as eBooks. But why just stick to drawing only? Dances, pantomimes were also inspired by and were created to reflect the character and mood of the paintings, as well as some cultural aspects of each country where the artists came from. Finally, students expanded their creativity spectrum to also designing jewellery and more objects in the style of these artists: “The most important part for me was designing dances, clothes and furniture in different styles and I was very enthusiastic about designing clothes in Pablo Picasso’s style“, says Wanda Maria Sopek, Polish student that participated in the project.
Not only did pupils explore international artists’ work, but they got a first-hand experience of other European countries’ customs, culture and ways of thinking. “The added value of eTwinning was making friends, not only among the pupils but also for the teachers. Also, improving our ICT skills: Pupils are very enthusiastic about their activities, they like introducing themselves, their skills, their abilities, they like sharing interesting things, playing together, learning and sharing together with pupils in other countries.” explains Beata Lenartowicz, one of the project founders.
So what is the secret to motivating your pupils? How can they be engaged in the project activities? Beata Lenartowicz’s advice is: “Enjoy all the activities, have a lot of fun with your students, let students organize the Twinspace, to design activities, to participate in planning the project. Because when they design, when they plan, they are motivated in a wonderful way“.
…and the European Jury says:
“Excellent project: the TwinSpace is very well organized, the teachers seem to communicate a lot and very effectively and students had a lot of fun ! Starting from an innovative idea, a good project, with a rich and clear TwinSpace, good products and ICT usage. The project was excellent the students seemed to have enjoyed it and they collaborated. The curriculum aspect was also excellent.”
Beata Lenartowicz (Szkoła Podstawowa Nr 5 im. Szarych Szeregów, Poland)
Zofia Marciniak (Grunnskoli Bolungarvikur, Iceland)
Alicja Krystosiuk: Szkoła Podstawowa Nr 5 im. Szarych Szeregów (Bielsk Podlaski, Poland)
Derya ÖRS: Binbaşı Necati Bey İlkokulu (İSTANBUL, Turkey)
Helena Repaská: Základná škola Viliama Záborského, Vráble (Vráble, Slovakia)
MARIA ELIANA SILVA ALVEAR: CEIP ADELA SANTANA (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)
Nathalie Pavlovic: Institut Paul Ricoeur (LOUVRES, France)