This year the 4th grade students in room 122 are reading Tuck Everlasting. Mrs. Bennett is the new 4th grade teacher, and she was interested in continuing to work with this novel. She wanted to focus on figurative language specifically, similes and metaphors. By integrating visual art with this novel, students learned to make connections between the similes and metaphors and visual symbolism. By learning about visual symbolism and color symbolism, the fourth graders created and represented symbols in order to better communicate figurative language in a visual art work. To begin students were given a symbol challenge which consisted of them naming visual symbols or logos that are currently popular in mass media. Discussion about what symbols mean or stand for and how such a simple image comes to take meaning were discussed.
After having learned about the symbols, students were introduced to color symbolism and how it is used to create meaning. During the beginning art sessions, students read passages from the color poetry book, “Halistones and Halibut Bones” in order to see how color can represent both concrete items and abstract concepts.
During the beginning language arts sessions with Mrs. Bennett, students were given the opportunity to express their ideas and feelings about eternal life. The students were asked to write down the advantages and disadvantages of living forever in their journal sketch book. The writing process allowed the students the freedom to explore the symbolism within the book. The students used important symbolic elements from the book to make a visual connection to the book.
Continuing with color, Mrs. Skylas and Ms. Tritschler also wanted the fourth graders to learn how to change the lightness and darkness of color different media. First, they had students create a black and white value scale using ebony pencils.
During this same beginning time frame of the project, in the visual art sessions with Mrs. Skylas and Ms. Tritschler, the students learned about creating visual symbols and color symbolism.