As grade 3 students were finishing up a "Sharing the Planet" unit about plants and about to start a new "How We Express Ourselves" unit about the arts, we introduced a project to design and create Living Sculptures around the school. Living sculptures are just that--incorporating plant life into sculptures, blending art and science into works of art that are constantly changing.
Here's the presentation that we worked with to frame the project:
The students were really engaged and took ownership right from the beginning. They researched different kinds of living sculptures on the Internet, they formed groups and exchanged ideas. They presented to each other and settled on a few ideas that they thought were manageable. They planned out what materials they would need, what jobs would have to be done and of course helped dig everything up and put it all together. These sculptures should be around for years to come. How empowering that must be to an 8 year-old to be able to have that sort of impact on their school. We are lucky to be at a school where we are permitted to do this sort of thing. Indeed, they turned out so well that it looks like the area where we put them will become a living sculpture garden where we will be able to continue building new works in the future.
This group worked on a sort of teepee that will soon be covered in vines and hopefully offer some shade from the hot Singapore sun!
This group was interested in upcycling. They made a giant maple leaf (we are the Canadian School after all...) out of coat hangers that will become a trellis for another climbing vine.