This week we are exploring our creative selves. Today’s prompt uses the strategy Model Making. Complete the sentence in the prompt and demonstrate your response by making something.
Typically to use Model Making in classroom spaces, we invite teachers to hand out an art medium—aluminum foil, clay, Play-Doh, newspaper, pipe cleaners, construction paper—that students can use. First, the class is given a curricular topic like vocabulary word, math concept, science process, historic event, character or main idea. Next, the class brainstorms symbols, examples, non-examples that connect to this topic. Then, the teacher asks students to create a model that symbolizes this topic, using their art medium. The teacher should give students a time limit, to reassure them that we are not judging the quality of anyone’s work. No one is trying to recreate a Rodin sculpture here! To view the Model Making CLI strategy card, with its reflection questions and full steps, navigate to the Creative Teaching Strategies page on this WordPress site.
Here is an example of a model that one teacher created during a professional development lesson. Participants were asked to create a model that represents the concept of equality. Her model depicts current issues about equal pay for the U.S. women’s soccer team.
Because we are all at home, my prompt response example today uses less-tangible objects (plus one very tangible object: my cat) to demonstrate the model I want to make. My answer:
Today I can design a cat learning center so that I can work uninterrupted.
I am demonstrating things that I’ve built (models I’ve made) that work like a cat learning center. When she’s not sleeping or eating, my cat likes to get my attention. She sometimes appears on my screen during Zoom calls!
I don’t have a cardboard box at home, or else I would have designed a castle or spaceship for her to sit in. Instead, I’m using the art medium I have available: computer screen/design. Using my computer screen, I can build a learning center for my cat that will hold her attention so that I can work uninterrupted! Here are some examples from the past:
If I had more materials, I would play a video on my laptop, create a cardboard box for her to sit in, and set up a catnip corner. But due to time and resource limitations (and because she’s sleeping right now—and, as the saying goes, you should let sleeping [cats] lie), this photo and video collage is what I’m able to design at home right now. What can you design today?