my hands are my heart

I went to see the Hobbit movie over the weekend. There was a scene that has stayed with me while trying to process the recent horrific event that has broken all of our hearts- Gandalf the wizard is explaining why he chose a hobbit to help in their journey:

"Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage."

Funny that wizards, elves, dwarves, and hobbits helped to restore my faith in humanity. I wish powerful laws could protect us and we had better mental health care for all. The thought of all that probably not happening in my lifetime leaves me feeling powerless though. What I can do, and what we can all do, is keep evil at bay with small daily acts of kindness, love, and courage.

I'd like to share our 4th grade creative art journaling on the theme: My Hands Are My Heart. They give me courage!


kinder colors

The kinders have been practicing a little color theory! They have been working with warm and cool colors here and here for example.

This is the last project in our color unit, a collage inspired by the question- what is your favorite color and why? The kinders LOVED the collage process but even more, I loved their responses to the question. We spent some time before we started, to close our eyes and visualize our favorite colors and then did a quick share. While they worked on their collages, I came around to record their thoughts. Their color responses evoke a memory, feeling, family, or nature- all of them lovely!

(I did get permission to share this secret with everyone!)


first grade tree portraits

The first grade artists have been sketching and observing many different kinds of tree branches and looking closely to see how those branches diverge. We have been enjoying our outside art time!

Students were then asked to create a self portrait with a twist. Imagine yourself as a tree! I was very much inspired by the lovely work over at Chesterbrook Academy Elementary.

There is something special about imagining yourself as someone or something else. It helps to build empathy and understanding. Feet become roots, arms become branches, and hair becomes a home to little nesting birds!


my hands are my heart

Our fourth grade artists watched an interview with Art21 artist Gabriel Orozco. We used his work My Hands Are My Heart as a starting point for an exploration of clay, process, and the connection of creating and caring. This fit in beautifully with our fourth grade theme, Artists Making a Difference!

Students were asked to only use their hands to create a heart (no tools allowed other than stamps for their name). Some hearts took the form of vessels, baseballs, mountains, or beloved pets. Some hearts wore their family names, some touched deeply with fingertips, and some hearts were perfectly smoothed. All of these hearts were a wonderful play in process and a great way for us to start our year of caring and creating.