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Type of Resource
Middle School Resource
I developed this lesson in my fourteenth year of teaching. I had just transferred to sixth grade general art after primarily teaching pottery classes in a high school for thirteen years. I was at a low income, high poverty school and was having a difficult time engaging my students. I had seen Robert Marbury’s work about ten years earlier and had wanted to do something with it but had never had the opportunity. Recognizing the student's need for play, I first approached this lesson with one class bringing in several garbage bags of stuffed animals my daughter had discarded.
The lesson did not begin as a study in Social Practice. It began with students simply creating a new “pet.” The first class of students began giving the pets that they had created stories and I recognized that many of the stories were personal. One young boy’s pet had just recently moved to our community and was living in an apartment, which was the exact personal experience that student was going through. Watching the students give stories and purposes to their pets that addressed their personal needs made me realize this lesson could be so much more than just making imaginary animals; we were making pets with a purpose.
Pets, social practice, urban, multimedia, community, assemblage, soft sculpture
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