After spending much of year one creating a strong arts education foundation with our art department heads at Ashland Middle School, we are now branching out into integration as part of year two with Studio to Schools. After conducting our recent core curriculum instructors survey we have identified ways to integrate arts into science, social studies, language arts, and others core educational courses at AMS.
Our first foray was working with instructors Hillary Harper and Beth Oehler to create Clay Warriors as part of their Science and Social Studies curriculum. Hillary and Beth presented the following to us:
“Hillary and I are Science and Social Studies teachers at AMS. The terracotta warriors project is a part of our Social Studies unit on Ancient China. Students researched the dynasties that occurred between 1766 BCE and 1644 CE, including the Qin Dynasty (221 BCE to 206 BCE). Emperor Shi-Huangdi was China’s first emperor and had 6000 life-sized clay warriors built and placed in his tomb for protection in the afterlife. The archaeological site in Xi’an, China, was discovered in 1974 and is on the list of World Heritage Sites.
Guest visual artist Amy Goddard brought the terracotta army to life for our students and presented an experience that they will never forget. The sixth graders at Ashland Middle School created their own army – the project was the talk of our spring conferences! With Amy’s help, students learned how to create realistic figurines and how to use the clay effectively so that the statues are sturdy. Because I watched her teach, I know that I will be a better teacher of art integration in the future – now I know how to work the clay and can pass that information along to students for years to come. I imagine this will become a regular part of our ancient China unit from now on.
Thanks Studio to Schools for providing this experience for our students!”