In the beginning sessions, the sixth graders’ art work was based on symbols. The students had begun to read the novel Tuck Everlasting and they were being asked to pick out literary devices and symbols. Before beginning a specific project based on the novel, we felt that the students could learn about visual symbols be using themselves as the subject. The framework for the project was a coat of arms design on which they drew their symbols. The sixth graders drew symbols that represented their favorite food, class subject and hobby. Also within the format of the coat of arms shield, the students needed to creatively include their names.
The second art work the sixth graders created had a direct correlation to the novel Tuck Everlasting. First, in small groups, the sixth graders had to determine certain literary devices from the novel. Each group used a graphic organizer to help decipher and present its findings. Then each person in the group was responsible for choosing one literary device and changing it into a visual symbol. Using pencil, the students drew their symbols in their journal and then onto paper. They then inserted the paper into a plastic document sleeve. Then they applied oil pastels to color in the image on the plastic. The idea was to create a transparent effect of a stained glass window. Once completed, these works hung in the window of the art room.
The final works were based on the novel Hatchet. Once again students were paired in small groups in order to work together to create a PowerPoint presentation about the symbolism in the novel. In order to create the presentations, Ellen taught the students how to download and edit images, create transitions from slide to slide and use color contrasts effectively.