Earlier this month, Grade 8 students explored craftivism in their art elective. Craftivism is a form of activism centered on practices of craft. Craftivism includes, but is not limited to, various forms of needlework, including yarn-bombing or cross-stich. Craftivism is a social process of collective empowerment, action, expression and negotiation.
Writer Betsy Greer coined the term craftivism in 2003 in order to join the separate spheres of craft and activism. Her favorite self-created definition of the term states, “craftivism is a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper, and your quest for justice more infinite.”
On Wednesday we welcomed acclaimed author and illustrator, David Shannon. He spoke with our girls about where ideas come from, did some of his beloved drawings, and answered student questions. Mr. Shannon also read his newest book, Mr. Nogginbody Gets a Hammer.
David Shannon was born in Washington, D.C, in 1959. He grew up in Spokane, WA. David liked to draw as soon as he could hold a crayon. He went to Hutton Elementary school where his teachers soon realized that if they let David draw murals it would keep him from disrupting class and their classroom would have some pretty good art on the walls, too. David eventually graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he majored in Illustration. In He sold his pickup truck and moved to New York City in 1983 to start a career in editorial illustration. David’s work appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, as well as numerous book jackets and posters. In 1988 he illustrated his first children’s book, How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have?, by Julius Lester. (Btw, Leopards have two spots – dark ones and light ones.) After illustrating several books by other authors, David was encouraged to try writing his own stories. His first book was How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball, which was named a New York Times Best-illustrated book in 1994. In 1999 the semi-autobiographical story, No, David!, received a Caldecott Honor. David has written and/ or illustrated over 35 books for children. He lives in Los Angeles with his Wife, Heidi and his daughter, Emma.
To learn more, please visit: http://nodavidshannon.com/
On March 28, The Hamlin School held an incredible interdisciplinary learning extravaganza known as 5th Grade Forum. The event was well attended by Hamlin parents who were eager to learn from their daughters. 5th Grade Forum is the first of the Intensives for Middle School. Intensives are a concentrated period of study where an entire grade is working on a project or projects, with profound research and preparation, followed by a public event. Grade 6 students will participate in a Symposium, Grade 7 in Rise to the Challenge, and Grade 8 students will put on an entire musical.
For the Forum, Grade 5 students were divided into groups based on geographic regions of the United States. Once in their groups, students set out to become regional experts through a project based learning approach. The Forum incorporated various facets of the following disciplines: Humanities, Math, Science, Art, and Music. During the month-long exploration, students had the opportunity to create collages, videos, math problems, poems, spoken word, and detailed magazines with comprehensive articles. The magazines covered some of the following topics: History, Current Events, Travel, Animals, Sports, Environment, Food, Art, Economy, Cities, and Entertainment. During the Forum our students showcased their poised public speaking skills in front of dozens of parents.
Grade 7 Hamlin Spanish students recently created a museum of Hispanic artists. Girls researched the lives of various artists and then wrote about one work of art and created a short biography about the life of their artist, employing art history vocabulary along with the use of the past tense. As part of the interdisciplinary Spanish and Art project, students role-played as Hispanic artists, interviewing each other about what inspired and defined their artwork. For the creative part of the project, students had the freedom to write a poem, take a photograph or paint a work of art similar to the original piece.
Above, Ava’s painting is on the left and Noé Canjura’s is on the right.
More of these beautiful art pieces are on display in the East Dining Room.
Students in Grade 7 have been studying tissue in science. They examined slides for the following tissue types: epithelial, muscle, connective, and nervous. As part of an interdisciplinary project, students selected one slide, then created a painting based on what they observed.
The above painting is titled Ocean of Spiders. The tissue type is nervous. These cells are located in the brain. The tissue reminded the artist of raindrops and spiders. The artist characterized the tissue this way:
It is dyed with silver. The neuron has a circular core that has one long branch that sends messages, and a lot of tiny branches that receive messages.
These fascinating paintings are currently on display in front of our middle school science classrooms.
On Thursday, students in Grade 6 had the opportunity to visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and see the Magritte exhibit.
René François Ghislain Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality.
Hamlin art teacher, Ms. Feldman put together an interactive Keynote that allowed our students to engage in profound learning as they experienced the artwork.
As part of the Keynote tour (with their iPads), girls did the following (among other activities):
Discuss with your partner:
-Explore the works in this room. What emotions are being expressed? Do you think that art needs to express emotions? Whose emotions does art express?
-Choose one piece of artwork to talk about. What do you think will happen next in this piece?
-With your partner, find a piece of art in this room to talk about and answer these questions: What is the story that you see in this work of art? What do you see in the work that tells you it is about this story?
To learn more about the exhibit, please visit: https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibitions-events/
On Tuesday, Drew Daywalt and Scott Campbell spoke with lower school students.
Drew Daywalt is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling children’s author whose books include The Day the Crayons Quit, The Day the Crayons Came Home, and The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors.
Scott Campbell creates paintings, illustrations, comics, kid’s books and video games. He has published numerous comics and created paintings that have appeared in galleries and publications around the world.
Mr. Daywalt and Mr. Campbell shared a humor-filled presentation and talked about their creative process. When developing the character Sleepy (from Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy), the two spoke on the phone, discussing various ideas for the illustration. Mr. Campbell then sketched 40-50 different versions of Sleepy before coming up with the final depiction. On the writing side, Mr. Daywalt spent a month editing the story until he was very happy with the narrative. Mr. Daywalt also shared that the main character in Sleepy was modeled after his 9-year old son.
The two men read Sleepy to the girls and demonstrated how to do a couple of drawings from the book. The assembly was a tremendous hit, our students were cheering and very excited to get a behind the scenes look at how books are created.
To learn more about Mr. Daywalt and Mr. Campbell, please visit: https://www.amazon.com/Drew-Daywalt/e/B00DW25OSQ and https://www.scottc.com/
Going into our 155th year, The Hamlin School has a rich array of time honored traditions. For more than ten years, Grade 7 students have been getting together in the spring to design their very own personalized hoodie sweatshirt to be worn during their last year at Hamlin. The names of every Grade 8 girl appear on the back of the sweatshirt.
During the creation process, girls submit designs for the sweatshirt that are both original and found through online sources. The most popular ideas are then put to a class vote.
Eliza and Catherine share more about this year’s sweatshirt:
We chose the paper airplane and heart design because we liked the symbolism. As Grade 8 students we are “leading with love,” and will be “leaving Hamlin with love.”
We have been looking forward to wearing our sweatshirt since we were in 5th grade, it is a special privilege that we have earned.
The mother of a Hamlin graduate elaborates:
My daughter wore her Grade 8 sweatshirt throughout high school, it was a source of pride and ongoing connectedness for her.
Last week Claire Garlington, (a senior at the Bay School, attending UCSD next year for chemical engineering) spoke with our students at middle school assembly. Ms. Garlington recently painted four influential women from various STEM fields. Ms. Garlington is passionate about creating greater awareness about women in STEM; past, present, and future.
The portraits of Lise Meitner (Physics), Mae Jemison (NASA), Maryam Mirzakhani (Math), Cher Wang (Technology) will be on display in Stanwood Hall until June 1st.
Recently, grade 4 artists had the opportunity to design their own original artwork for record album covers. The students picked a record title out of a hat and were not allowed to look at the artwork of the real album. The girls were then challenged to design their own cover using the title. During the activity students listened to songs from each album, learning some popular music history along the way.