Kim teachingThe students in Ms. Acker’s fourth grade class read and explored the novel Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. In the arts sessions, the students began their work by studying the seven elements of art. Using collage, they created a visual glossary to demonstrate their understanding.

Student #1

visual glossary alljournal hobby goals 1



Student #2

visual glossary line

journal hobby goals 2



Student #3

visual glossary texture

journal goals 2






Students studied the ways that symbols are used to convey a message and created their own symbols to represent their hobbies, goals, struggles and dreams. After exploring the work of Joseph Cornell, students constructed their own “Cornell inspired” boxes, incorporating their symbols into a three-dimensional art form.
painting cornell boxes

Student #1

In their journals, the students sketched images for their hobbies, goals, dreams and struggles.

journal image hobby goal 1cornell black box 1

Student #2

journal image hobby goal 2The images were then drawn and placed in a box so students could create their own beginning Cornell box.cornell black box 2

Student #3

journal image hobby goalcornell black box 3


A central element in the novel “Bud Not Buddy” was the main character’s suitcase and the symbolic items he carried in it. Fourth graders used their knowledge of the story to construct their own suitcase. Reminiscent of the Cornell box, the students’ own suitcase  combined sculpture, found objects and printmaking to create a piece that houses their own needs, wants and memories.painting background

Student #1

painting background 2

Student #2

cornell box with watercolor 2

clay 1

Student #3

cornell box with watercolor 1

clay 2

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