Mixing English language arts, math, art, along with reviewing and preparing for New York state English language arts and math exams, adds up to a creative, relaxing project for fourth grade Bush Elementary School students in Tiffany MacCullum's and Amy Vezina's classes.
The students created Bubble Art Murals with a lot of help from their very active imaginations. The teachers held reviews for state testing, and to reinforce best practices in test-taking. They created a fun art activity to incorporate the main concepts.
"I really liked using art to remind me how to take the test because drawing is my passion and it makes learning more interesting," said student Katelyn Hewitt. "I used 'read for detail' as my ELA portion and drew a pattern of different math shapes including a triangle, square and circle for math."
Bush Elementary School fourth-graders Nakeya Hardy and Katelyn Hewitt show off their creative Bubble Murals.
To start the creative process, teachers photographed the students blowing bubbles. Students used the photographs as the basis for the rough draft sketch and then translated their creativity, with color and splash, to a bigger mural. They used phrases such as, "read for details," "go back and check," "show all you know" and math concepts like counting by sixes, drawing different types of lines (curved, wavy, straight, zigzag) and creating different patterns. The students' murals look like they are "blowing" information and art out of their mouths.
"When I started sketching I realized one of my lines was starting to look like an eel with a really long tail so I added spikes and an eye," said student Nakeya Hardy. "I used multiplication examples and the word 'reread' to remind me of what I need to do during the tests."
"Anytime we can promote integrating art into the regular classroom, the students love it," said the teachers. "Our goal was to reinforce best practices in test-taking but also doing it in a fun and relaxing way right before the tests."