Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Collaborative Jasper Johns: Map

Each year, my 5th grade students create a large-scale collaborative Pop Art work; last year, we were inspired by Jasper Johns to recreate Flag using soda can boxes (lesson here).

An alternate Jasper Johns image that also makes a delightful lesson is Map (1961). Using a discarded classroom map of the United States, we first cut out each State like a puzzle piece (although the smaller states in New England were cut out in "clumps" so they wouldn't get lost).

The potential directions that can be taken with lesson objectives are quite extensive; there is great potential for students to research and share information and aspects of assigned states. We chose a focus on Jasper John's use of symbols in his art--how he borrowed common images such as maps and flags and portrayed them in a new way.

States were distributed evenly between students amongst excited chatter centered mostly around travel and NFL teams from respective states. States were textured with newspaper. Each student painted his/her state with primary colors of acrylic mixed with gloss medium to increase translucency. Finally, students located states on a list I provided to find and label each piece with proper abbreviations.

I think we did a pretty good job puzzling everything back together... our apologies for accidentally gluing South Dakota upside-down.

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