3rd grade rocks! part 2

This is an update to our Inuksuk project. I've found a few more resources since then and also wanted to share the second part of this rock inspired unit.

We added this amazing mentor artist this year: Michael Grab of Gravity Glue! The kids were completely mesmerized by his work and it was a great start to conversations about grit, patience, focus, and going with the flow. This year I noticed the quality of their sculptures improved as they were more mindful of the process and to the subtle surface differences of the rocks.

I also added Art21 artist, Vija Celmins. I got to see her rock inspired art at MOMA last summer and couldn't wait to add this to our unit. In the MOMA link you will find a great audio clip of her talking about To Fix the Image in Memory where she describes the act of observation and drawing as "a record of concentrated looking." The next day we also watched the Art21 video segment (to the 4:45 mark) in which she describes her process so beautifully.

Watching Vija talk about her process was the perfect introduction to their careful observation rock drawings. They LOVE the fancy drawing pencils, blending tool, and the idea that an eraser can be a drawing tool and are very motivated to learn how to make a realistic drawing using value.

The first day I give them an H, HB, and 4B drawing pencil to use. They also make their own blending tool and value chart. The next day I let them experiment with the full set of drawing pencils.

The third graders added a poem to their rock drawings. They could create a cinquain, haiku, free verse, or rhyming... ode to my rock!