But it's pretty much free to address that problem if we allow the time to do it....everything around us is worth a LOOK, an exploration. Recording a moment in a journal, taking a photo, writing a snippet about it, noticing the world around. Awe and wonder is FREE if we want to open our eyes to it.
Last Wednesday I saw these here :-)
Really was stunned by the work. Been to a fair few exhibitions in my time and seen paintings and works of art I've seen in books in 'real life'. I was just struck by these cut outs more than other works before. Partly I think because I hadn't really appreciated how Matisse had worked them from books until I could actually got right up close and see. And ....the colours and shapes are fantastic. I love his flamboyant colours and the amazing seaweed frond shapes particularly. There's a lovely paragraph about the cut outs in the picture above where it's explained that Matisse wished for the cut out pieces to be arranged so they could blow freely in the wind. In his later years he was very keen to bring the outside in as he wasn't able to go outside anymore. He wouldn't to surround himself with nature's shapes and patterns-it made him feel good.
Below is a beautiful book well worth a look for YOU and for your children (class and family) - the story of how Matisse 'painted with scissors'.
"Are some of the stars we see at night coming from Henri Matisse's scissors? Perhaps"
So.... more colour and more WORKING BIG to give children a chance to explore space and all the rudiments of SHAPE not just the shape that you happen to be able to fit on an A4 piece of paper neatly in front of you at a table. Outside, in halls, on floors to make and create. These are not 'blobbish ideas'-allowing children to explore shape and colour, be JOYFUL in art is fundamental to their whole being....not just education in the smallest sense. It's the holidays soon so re group and get out your scissors and/or go visit The Tate for some colourful inspiration.
Cross over with http://www.storyshack.org but just a really simple idea which could lead into a world and wealth of creativity particularly round writing but also Geography, maths, science ..you name it map making imaginary worlds will get you there.
Above and below are some well known maps from fantasy stories-;Warrior Cats' series by Erin Hunter, 'Discworld series' by Terry Pratchett, 'Oliver and the sea wigs' by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre and 'Wolf Brother' by Michelle Paver. There are many more maps in many more books all of which make great starting points for creating new maps for imagery worlds. Great for 'big work' or small but often we don't give children a chance to spread out and make paper choices or 'where would I like to work' choices. Sometimes it's good to work standing up and 'pontificate' with a group map, sometimes you might want to sprawl across the floor in a bigger space but if children are cogitating, exploring, thinking and creating what's wrong with that? This is also a good chance to use up old coloured paper because then you already have an 'old' looking map which adds to the intrigue and interest. You can enhance this either in class with some strong tea and a willing teacher or TA to burn around the edges. Then you might want to think about where the map will be housed-in a ready made book with a pocket? In the front/back of a book? Rolled up as a scroll? Hidden in a treasure chest somewhere? Buried somewhere safe??
Children might like to think about what terrain they're going to place on their map. They can also learn about the different drawings you might use for a map i.e. rather than really detailed trees to de mark a forest it 's more symbolic-hence linking with key included in their map maybe? They can also spend some time thinking about who might inhabit this new world-are their clans/tribes who don't cross or do cross into each other's lands-bit of history in there too. There's so much more to map making and it can lead into many other avenues-importantly and hopefully ones the children themselves would like to follow. Lastly there's some great books around about lettering. Lettering and calligraphy is perhaps becoming less practised in schools yet children are usually very interested in different styles of lettering and maps are a great way to encourage some creativity and interest in producing something super special. The book below is just one and I know it's good because it's always popular in Story shack!