Nelson Mandela PS students are inspired by the late Nelson Mandela to explore identity as a social construct within the science of DNA
~ visiting artist Mark Stoddart ~ PHOTO Kevin Arsenault ~
Begin with an inspiration
What is the big idea that has inspired your project? Is it a change or discovery, an in-depth look at history or our evolving cultures? Is your school coming together on a tale, film or book that encompasses common values, or new understandings in science, ecology, technology or social justice?
One small inspiration can lead to a rich narrative, often a story or parable (oral or written), that the entire school can read and share…and voila, you have the beginnings of your art project.
Explore the rich narrative
A narrative is rich when it has far reaching salience. When we relate to an art experience socially and historically, we find a clear idea of the local and global significance and are able to understand it in time, place and in relation to other events.
Exploring a narrative through contextualization need not be complex. It can be as simple as asking ourselves to find the connection within our own realities, passions, dreams. It is often abstract.
The best stories resolve conflict in some way, thereby instilling understanding of resilience and harmony, often through mindfulness.
Choose among the arts disciplines
Let’s choose how we wish to interpret the story through the arts~painting, sculpture, dance, music, or we can take an interdisciplinary approach.
Interpret and invent
We have our story and explored it’s salience. Next step is to choose how we wish to interpret the story through the discipline we have chosen. This is where we call upon our creative skills. How do we tell our story? What do we wish to invent to tell it?
Encourage individual creativity within the collaborative vision
The artistic process invites individual creativity within the collaboration. This is where we stretch ourselves to provide workable artistic ideas towards a successful execution of our vision…always mindful of our vision!
Incorporate inquiry based learning
Inquiry-based learning is more than asking a student what he or she wants to know. It’s about triggering curiosity. And activating a student’s curiosity is a far more important and complex goal than the objective of mere information delivery. See more on inquiry based learning.
Enjoy group reflection
Let’s complete the project reflecting on our personal learning. Sample questions may be…
What were some of the things you enjoyed about the project?
What did you learn about Growth Mindset?
Has this experience/way of thinking about growth mindset changed your thinking in any way?
Is there someone that you learned from or admired throughout the process?
Any last words?
See AWAKE and CHAOS as examples of simple yet successful rich narrative interdisciplinary arts.