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Powerful story to use as stimulus for primary Art Week wanted!

(14 Posts)
peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 10-Apr-16 00:55:44

I'm sitting down to think about an art week (primary) I'm organising in Term 6. It's going to be vertically grouped across key stages and I'd quite like to use a story / parable / fable as a starting point. Now I am casting about for ideas...

It needs to be something that can be shared in an introductory assembly and for the gist / moral / message / theme to be pretty obvious to all pupils from FS to Y6, but with opportunities for deeper interrogation. I'd pull different strands or components out for exploring in groups using different skills (felting, printing etc). First thoughts have been around belonging, each individual's intrinsic value, perseverance, all that jazz. But I am having a complete blank moment! I'd quite like it to be a bit gritty or to have a bit of a "shadow" our lot are quite dark, deep thinkers .

Any ideas? Any short stories that have made you or your class sit up and pay attention? A powerful story, however simple, can be such a great stimulus. If I can only find one...

SageYourResoluteOracle Sun 10-Apr-16 01:38:39

Well, one possibility might be 'Sparky!' by Jenny Offil. Gorgeous picture book about acceptance and friendship (also touches on loneliness). This would work well as a whole-school text.

Another is 'The Tear Thief' by Carol-Ann Duffy with the theme being that tears have different degrees of worth, tears of real sadness having the highest value.

You could try 'FArTHER' by Graeme Baker-Smith- touches on dreams, loss and rejection.

And then there are classics such as 'The Hidden Forest' by Jeanne Baker and 'The Great Kapok Tree' by Lynne Cherry- both of which focus on environmental issues.

Have fun with the topic whatever you decide to do!

peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 10-Apr-16 09:23:03

Wow, Sage, thank you very much, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond so quickly. I will have a look today, these books look very promising!

cheapandcheerful Sun 10-Apr-16 09:38:22

'The Lost Thing' by Shaun Tan.

roaringwater Sun 10-Apr-16 09:39:49

"The Island" by Armin Greder

SageYourResoluteOracle Sun 10-Apr-16 10:43:20

The Island is a very moving and clever text but not one I'd personally use with children in EYFS/ KS1.

SageYourResoluteOracle Sun 10-Apr-16 10:44:47

Peaceful it's kind of my line of work...

FranHastings Sun 10-Apr-16 10:48:43

Not gritty, but a story with a fabulous message and lots of opportunities to spark off into different areas :

FranHastings Sun 10-Apr-16 10:53:00

Or 'ish' by the same author.

PurpleAlerts Sun 10-Apr-16 13:25:00

How about a picture book- we have some whole school themes weeks based on a book called Flotsam. Loads to talk about from Nursery to year six and the beach/ sea theme works really well in the second half of the summer term. Potential for photography too ( part of the story involves a lost camera)

phlebasconsidered Sun 10-Apr-16 13:35:47

I think you need to think of your resources and possible artistic outcomes first. By our last term we are often quite low on resources!

We have our art week then too, I have to organise it. I am using the book "Window" by Jeannie Baker as a starting point. We are then building up our own landscapes on clay tiles , each year group taking a different "layer" of the landscape. the tiles are then being used as a large scale outdoor mosaic in our sensory garden. We are lucky enough to have a kiln though, and i've been careful to hoard enough clay.

We're also going to be making window collages and focusing literacy on the books protagionists feelings, / what he can see etc. It's a lovely book.

SageYourResoluteOracle Sun 10-Apr-16 14:35:46

YY to Flotsam- 'tis amazing.
Journey by Aaron Becker is also a wordless text that I know whole schools have based an integrated topic on.

peacefuleasyfeeling Mon 11-Apr-16 00:49:21

Thank you, everyone! I have spent the evening looking at these suggestions and am feeling very excited now.
Sage, may I be nosy and ask what it is that you do? Phlebasconsidered, I am v lucky and appear to have a bit of a blank cheque as far as equipment and resources are concerned, not quite sure how we manage that grin.
As far as outcomes are concerned, I usually come at it from the angle of trying to provide a range (one per class teacher) of "just-wouldn't-happen-otherwise" opportunities, and the children across the school select which "studio" they want to spend the week in; this year I'm thinking felting and printing as mentioned above, as well as mould-making / casting, embroidery and light projections, with another few to be decided. I usually run a couple of staff meetings to introduce new techniques, and we look at the stimulus together, with colleagues deciding which technique they would like to teach / host, and what aspect or part of the stimulus would lend itself nicely to that skill. Having looked at some of these books, I am now tempted to do a FS and KS1 / KS2 split, mainly so I can introduce KS2 to The Island, which seems very poignant to my school.
Big thank you again. I am off to Waterstones and the Library tomorrow to see if I can lay my hands on some of them to chech with a fine tooth comb.

MidniteScribbler Thu 14-Apr-16 01:24:08

I echo the comments about the Peter Reynolds books - The Dot, Ish and Sky Colour. Gorgeous books and I've done so many activities with them.

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