Create A 3-D Community Model
Procedures for teachers is divided into five sections:
-- Preparing for the lesson
-- Conducting the lesson
-- Additional activities
-- Real world actions for
students after completion of the lesson
-- Managing resources and student activities
- Modem: 56.6 Kbps or faster.
- Browser: Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above or Internet Explorer 4.0
or above. Macintosh computer: System 8.1 or above and at least 32 MB
- Personal computer (Pentium II 350 MHz or Celeron 600 MHz) running
Windows® 95 or higher and at least 32 MB of RAM
- Software: Any presentation software such as Power Point or Hyperstudio
- One copy (per student)
of Mericans by Sandra Cisneros in Gillan, Maria Mazziotti, and Gillan,
Jennifer, GROWING UP ETHNIC IN AMERICA, Penguin Books USA, Inc. 1999
- Large pieces of paper
to hang in the classroom and tape to hang the paper up
- Index cards (at least
one per student)
- String, glue, tape,
wire, hole puncher, scissors, colored pencils
(one to two 50-minute class periods)
||Write the word community on the board. Ask
students for words that come to their minds. Write their ideas on
the board as a class brainstorm. Once the ideas are up, have students
get into cooperative groups that they will stay in for the duration
of this unit. The first activity as a cooperative group is to use
the ideas the class has generated to write a definition of community.
When they are finished, have each cooperative group send a student
to write the groups definition on a paper chart youve
taped up in the classroom. The chart will stay up for the duration
of the lesson.
||Lead the class in a discussion of what community is.
What community or communities do you belong to? How do you know youre
in a community? Is this classroom a community? What is your community
here, at home, your familys community? What are the things Ill
see in your community? How do you recognize (if you do) that someone
belongs to your community? Appearance? Speech? Dress? Music? Public
figures? Food and drink? Walk? Special jewelry? What things that you
wear, eat, listen to, or buy signal that you are part of your community?
||Give each cooperative group a piece of paper and give
each student in each group a different colored pencil so that no two
students in any cooperative group have pencils of the same color.
Tell students they will pass around the paper very quickly and make
a list. They will list ideas, ideals, people, sounds, smells, sights,
etc. that illustrate their communities. The first student in a group
starts, says what he or she is writing down (for example, pork
sausage), writes it down, then passes the paper to the right.
The next student does the same. The students in the cooperative groups
continue to pass the paper around for about 5 minutes or until they
run out of ideas.
||Tell students they will be making sculptures made up
of different objects they collect. Each object will be related to
their community in some way and the objects, taken together, should
give a viewer an idea about their communities. Ask students to write
down one object they think could be a part of their sculptures. Maybe
the object is from the list they made with their cooperative groups
(for example, it could be a can label, magazine, bottle caps, piece
of clothing, photograph, flyer, photocopy of a CD cover, coin, anything).
Ask them to share with the class what theyve written down. Start
a paper chart for the whole class, listing things that students might
use. This will be a collective chart -- students will list objects
they plan to bring in or have brought in. The idea of the chart is
to give students ideas for what they might collect. For homework,
have students start to collect objects. As students bring things in,
have them record what theyve brought on the chart.
Ongoing homework for the duration of the lesson:
After youve told students about the art projects theyll
be working on, ask the students to start bringing in objects, things
that tell about their community. Throughout the unit, point out things
that they might add to their collection. Ask each student to bring
in a box to store his or her objects.
Check your local PBS station for a broadcast of A Brooklyn Family
Tale. Have students watch it at home. Have them write in a journal
about what community Luis Castro belongs to. What are their judgments,
ideas? How close is this community to theirs? Do they relate? Did
the show give them any ideas about what they might include in their
| Learning Activities:
| Activity One:
(two 50-minute class periods)
||Give the students some time to share what
theyve found in their cooperative groups and write up what theyve
found on the paper idea chart.
||Hand out the partially filled-in Community
Organizer. Ask students to look at the graphic organizer and say
what Community is made up of. In their same cooperative
groups, have students fill in the two blank branches with two more
things that community is made of. Tell them not to write anything
in the boxes yet. Elicit the groups ideas and decide as a class
what to put into those two blanks. Ask students to look at the music
branch. What are some details they can provide here about their communities?
What about the food branch? Tell students they will fill these in
with details about their own communities. They may add as many branches
as they wish.
||Ask students to open their notebooks and
write Community in the middle of a blank page. Tell them
you are going to read them a story and that they will be taking notes
while you read. They will make a fresh graphic organizer that looks
like the handout theyve just done, but with different information.
They will be writing in details about the community they hear about
in the short story Mericans by Sandra Cisneros.
||After youve read Mericans,
have students get into their cooperative groups and share their notes.
They may help each other fill in any details they missed.
||Hand the short story out to the students.
Have them read it to themselves so they can look for more details.
In the discussion of the reading, focus the students on details that
speak of the community. Ask them to look for some foods (brain and
goat tacos, fried cookies). Ask them to look for actions (going to
church, knitting, dancing). Ask them to look for clothes (black shawls)
and other sights (banners, people walking to church on their knees).
What do these things tell you about the community the kids are visiting?
Are the kids comfortable here? How do you know? Find a line that tells
you they dont feel comfortable. Is this their community? What
telling details did you find about this community? Is anything about
this community familiar to you? What does it have in common with your
community? Where are your grandparents from? Have you ever been there?
What are some telling details you remember about your grandparents
Homework: Students continue to bring in objects that they will use
in a sculpture that says something about their community.
| Activity Two:
(1 50-minute class periods)
Remind students of the Community Organizer theyve filled
in. Have students look at the websites youve bookmarked. Tell
them to make a list of three details they notice about each community
(Irish, Hmong, Hasidic). The details could be music, food, religion,
clothes, hair, etc.
||Ask students to do a search to find something about
their own communities. Tell them to think for a minute about their
community. Then have them write down three words that describe their
communities. Have them go to www.google.com
and type the three words theyve thought of into the search engine.
Give them a few minutes to browse some of the sites that come up.
Then, have them write in their journals about what they found. Did
they find something interesting? Was it accurate?
| Activity Three:
(three to four 50-minute class periods)
Ask students to sketch the idea they have for their sculptures.
Is there anything they found online or at any other time that they
are missing? They should sketch that in too. The sketch is a plan
for the 3-D piece they will create. In their cooperative groups,
have students show each other their sketches and explain what they
are going to do. Show them the materials they will have to work
with so that they can explain to their cooperative groups how they
plan to construct the piece. Are there any problems they foresee?
Is something heavy, slippery or awkward? If so, how do they plan
to deal with it?
||Students work to construct their sculptures, using the
materials theyve collected and string, glue, tape, wire, scissors
and a hole puncher. The cooperative groups should be encouraged to
solve structural problems together. Tell the students they will have
two to three days to complete their sculptures.
| Activity Four:
(one to two 50-minute class periods)
When the students have completed their sculptures, hand out index
cards. Write on the board: ARTISTS NAME, DIMENSIONS, MATERIALS,
YEAR OF COMPLETION. Ask students to write all this information about
their pieces on the index cards.
||Randomly assign partners. Distribute the Art
Inquiry Organizer. Students will fill these in completely about
their partners sculpture.
| Culminating Activity/Assessment:
(one to two 50-minute class periods)
||As a class, plan a time to invite other classes, parents,
teachers and community members to the opening of the art show. Students
then compose and send out e-mail invitations.
||Remind students that theyve been talking about
their work with each other. Tell them that they will probably be asked
questions about their pieces at the opening. Hold a practice
opening where students walk around and role play asking each
other questions about process, intention, materials etc. Use the index
cards the students filled in earlier to identify the artwork for visitors.
Remind students of the questions on the Art Inquiry
||Hold an art opening with your class for members of the
community youve invited. Encourage inquiry and discussion by
initiating conversations about the pieces yourself.
Community Connections: (Optional. Include
real-world actions students can take to follow through on lesson concepts.
These include activities such as interviews, community-based art projects,
performances, portfolios and letter- or email- writing to relevant
government, academic or business personnel.)
- Students may want to explore some aspects of physics or chemistry
to solve problems in their process. For example, why wont
the glue work to put metal on metal? Why does they whole thing
keep tipping over?
- How does the history of a community inform what it looks like
today? Students may want to research a communitys history
to better understand where the community stands today.
- Some students, or the class as a whole, may want to find another
space to exhibit their sculptures: a library, a community center,
a gallery, a restaurant or coffee shop, or an online gallery
- To create cooperative groups, use playing cards. Students that
draw the same number will be in the same group.