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Elementary School Age Lessons

Story Portraits | SAS 2010

Ages 9-10

chalk pastels, paper, fabric, glue, on paper.

The students were introduced to the work of German photographer, Jan Von Holleben, whose work has been exhibited internationally and published widely throughout the world. Jan von Holleben identifies a strong connection between the development of his photographic work and the influence of his parents, a cinematographer and child therapist. At the age of 13, he followed his fathers photographic career by picking up a camera and experimenting with all sorts of magical tricks, developing his photographic imagination and skills with friends and family and later honing his technique in commercial settings. 

After being engaged by his work, the students learned that certain body movements can lead to storytelling. They used a variety of mixed media to create the environment to help tell their story, they then posed and photographed each other inside their created space.

​MY MIRO PART I. | PS 154 | PREK & Kindergarten​​

Black oil pastel, watercolor paper, Tempera paint

​​Students looked at the work of artist Joan Miro. The paintings inspired them to use line, shape, color and contrast and their own imaginations to create an abstract figure. The motivation for the children to start their paintings was to begin by drawing five lines and three shapes/symbols on their paper. The children then discovered ways to connect each line and fill their new shapes in with color.


​PS 154 ​ | Pre K & Kindergarten

​​Model Magic, Pipecleaners, Bendaroos, Foam

​The following week, students reviewed Miro's work as a sculptor and noticed that even though his work has moved into three-dimensional form, it bared a strong resemblance to some of the figures in his paintings. The students created miniature sculptures out of model magic, foam shapes, bendaroos, and pipe cleaners, which serve as a companion to their paintings. One child made the discovery of how to have their sculpture successfully stand up, by the addition of a base. The student shared her findings with the class.


Rube Goldberg Machines | PS 154 4th Grade

Drawing on paper

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist (New York Post) that became famous for drawing very complicated machines that performed very simple tasks. A typical Rube Goldberg device could not perform a job as straightforward as turning on a faucet without the assistance of pulleys, fulcrums, mousetraps, cables, and gears. The students learned about Rube Goldberg and brainstormed creative inventions inspired by the artist.  The students were able to:

•Familiarize themselves with the concept of a Rube Goldberg machine
•Discover how design and invention can be combined to solve problems
•Design a creative invention inspired by Rube Goldberg
•Draw and describe elaborate parts and their function
•Use drawing and text to communicate their machines

Please visit the animation page to view student paper cut stop motion Rube Goldberg machines in action.​

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