Ms. Kim’s Class at St. Francis Xavier and our Vancouver Biennale Residency

We are into visit four of our seven visit residency with Ms. Kim’s grade 3 class!  Vancouver Biennale’s Big Idea initiative.  We had our visit to A-maze-ing Laughter by Yue Minjun of China last week, installed just down by English Bay.   It was inspiring to see how children relate to art:  running through it playing tag, touching it, hanging from it and standing between the ‘two bottoms’ giggling as they imagined the statues had passed wind.  They sketched, wondered, wandered and processed the meaning of art.  They interacted with it as if it were alive.  They blushed a bit because the sculptures are not wearing any shirts and, excuse the anatomical term, their ‘nipples’ were showing.  They posed with exaggerated facial and body expressions and tried to figure out who or what the sculptures were laughing at.

We have been studying emotion and how we express it, what is appropriate and what is not.  We have explored physical poses from different angles and taken in all of the details.  We have written poems with more to come inspired by the exhibit.  We have begun body tracings where students have traced their bodies in different emotional poses.  All of these will be put into a book of grade three poetry and presented at a spoken word cafe.  So many streams meeting, so much engagement.  Ms. Kim is a fantastic teacher to partner with.  Hope you enjoy the pictures of A-maze-ing Laughter.  I am very energized and excited by this project!

BIG IDEAS in-School is an annual program that integrates the Vancouver Biennale current and legacy exhibitions with the B.C. Curriculum. Teachers are invited to submit a single classroom project or collaborate with other teachers/schools to develop a joint project. Project ideas can be drawn from BIG IDEAS Digital past school projects andcurriculum unit plans covering inquiry topics such as environmental, cultural or historical perspectives, mathematical applications, global citizenship or social change.

2015 Program Theme – Learning without Borders

Vancouver Biennale BIG IDEAS Education invites project proposals inspired by the 2014-2016 exhibition theme Open Borders / Crossroads Vancouver. Submissions should aim to open up existing borders in the learning process, such as borders between curriculum subjects, schools/districts or grades/classrooms. Alternatively, the project theme should aim to open up borders in language, religion, ethnicity, nation, and Indigeneity while developing students’ communication and thinking skills, and personal and social competencies.

Program Features

  • Arts Inquiry fosters discovery and creative learning through Biennale public arts.
  • Arts Infusion facilitates expression in multiple art forms through artist-led workshops in schools.
  • Cross-Curricular drives integrated learning concepts across multiple subject areas.
  • Socially Inclusive provides resources to all grades and schools within British Columbia.
  • Community-based takes students outside their classrooms and brings community into the classroom.
  • Online Resources provides exemplary multi-media instructional samples and a project toolkit.

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