Friday, October 5, 2012

Artful Renderings: Sunflower Pop Ups and Sculptural Representations

The entire class has had multiple opportunities to think about the sunflower using the various languages afforded them in the in-class studio.  The girls were very drawn to using a basic pop-up technique that I taught them when the class made birthday cards for Pippin.  F., B., K., I., and S. have enjoyed using a more three-dimensional way to express what they know about the flower, making individual pop-ups and also connecting their pop-ups together to make a sunflower field.  They also created sculptural representations of sunflowers out of plasticine and added them to their pop-up sunflower diorama.  Like our measuring group, they have had to think hard about how building a strong base will hold the head of their flowers up.  

F’s sunflower pop up [below] was explained as follows:  When the pop-up is closed, the seed is under the ground, growing… [She slowly pulls the pop-up open] and now it’s growing bigger.  The rain and sunshine [in the background] are helping it grow.  The roots are under the ground to give it water.

N. created a growth chart of the life of the sunflower using plasticine, showing the stages from seed to sprout to plant to flowering plant.   
Note the little earthworms down below helping the flower to grow
A cardinal bird eating seeds from a sunflower
E. took a cue from his drawing of the sunflower – showing not just the plant but what it needs to grow and the bees and the birds that depend on it – to create his own sculptural version of himself caring for a sunflower.  He worked it into an entire clay garden tableau.

E. and Mini-E

(He then made a giraffe...the only animal that might be tall enough to eat the seeds from a twelve foot sunflower)

K. considers the water cycle and its role in helping sunflowers grow

L. thinks deeply about what's inside the seed to help make it grow into a sunflower:

B. uses the sunflower seed as a painting tool:

Drawing the seed head

The stem of a sunflower (detail)
N's careful observation of the stems

Thinking, noticing, observing and analyzing like scientists, while depicting, describing, and contemplating like artists....

Showing the details some might just miss, revealing the magic and 
beauty of (not so) simple seeds and blooms.

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful. As a scientist, I of course love all the angles the children are exploring and all their real "noticing". I wonder if they have looked at some of the scientific/botanical drawings of sunflowers. Some of those only draw the seed but in such great detail, might be an interesting exploration for children who like the micro level of things. I love the multitude of media used, thank you for your insight into this exploration!