A Grade 1 Inquiry into - How We Express Ourselves

"Inspiration Sparks Creativity" is the central idea that ICS Grade 1 students have been exploring over the past weeks in their Unit of Inquiry.

A Grade 1 InquiryHow do artists find inspiration, how do they develop their ideas and what is creativity? These three questions are part of the lines of inquiry guiding ICS Grade 1 students and their teachers as they look at the creative processes that visual and performing artists develop to create their ideas.

During week 1 of their inquiry, students visited the forest adjacent to the ICS campus with a very specific goal in mind: They searched for natural items that they found beautiful, unusual, ugly or simply interesting. Using their found objects as a starting point, they developed artistic ideas through story-telling, exploration of musical sounds or drawing on paper. When one of the teachers made an unlikely forest "discovery", the seashell she found, and the imaginative story she told about it, sparked the imagination of the students as they considered and discussed how this unusual object could have made its way into a forest.

The outdoor forest exploration was followed one week later by an exciting indoor "scavenger hunt" that took groups of Grade 1 students through three rooms in the Primary building. In all three locations, teachers had prepared artifacts to inspire the students' creative thinking. In the Primary Atrium, students viewed two tables laden with a wide range of props and costumes from the drama department's cupboard. In the music room, a display of percussion instruments and dance videos from different cultures made looking and listening especially interesting, and in the Primary art room, a generous selection of photographs, post cards and art books were were set out on several tables as visual stimuli for the students.

Using the iPads they carried with them throughout the scavenger hunt, students were asked to take photos of the objects and visual images they found interesting or which inspired them in some way. The individual photographs they recorded on their iPads will become the basis for developing their own artistic creations.   

As they move forward in their unit of inquiry How We Express Ourselves in the coming weeks, Grade 1 students will continue looking at various stages of the creative process. They will be stretching and exploring ideas, trying things out, practicing, and learning about feedback as they enjoy discovering further sources for inspiration to spark their creativity. 

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