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This week I hosted two events at home for some local home educated friends. I’m going to share what we did for this particular one, learning about Alberto Giacometti in case others want to do similar.
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Introducing the Session
I was sent a book a few months back called 50 fantastic ideas inspired by famous artists and in there are some fantastic ideas about things to do. We did a session on Frida Kahlo last month and I followed it up with one about Alberto Giacometti and I have a Picasso one planned too. I wanted to show the children the many different ways that art can be produced, and how it can inspire.
I did a little research on Giacometti and introduced the session by asking the children if they knew anything about him (they didn’t). I talked briefly about him and had displayed some images of his more famous bronze sculptures. We then watched a short YouTube video which gave a really good overview of all his work; from his paintings, his plaster work and his cubist work to his more famous bronze sculptures.
I then gave each child a piece of paper folded into four. The idea of this activity was the demonstrate that a simple stick figure can convey movement and emotion. I gave them around 10 seconds to draw a stickman in a specific position or displaying an emotion. The four that I asked them to draw were:
- a stickman
- a stickman running
- a sad stickman
- a happy stickman
It was fun to see how these turned out, and I think it demonstrated how even a simple drawing can convey lots of different things. We then split into two groups to work through a range of activities.
I wrote a short information book for the children to complete and printed off four small pictures of some of Giacometti’s work. There were a couple of things for them to fill in then they were asked to choose their favourite piece of his work, and to write a little about it; what it made them think of or why they liked it. You can download the booklet I made here, should you wish to use it.
Tin foil sculpture
The first sculpture we made was from tin foil. I had marked up some pieces for the children which gave them an outline of where to make the arms and legs from. They each had a go at this and created some fantastic people. They then created some free pieces from plain tin foil. Some had a go at creating a hand or leg, others created men but in different poses.
Pipe Cleaner sculpture
Next we had a go at making sculptures from pipe cleaners. The children made them then set them into different poses and their friends had to work out what they were posed as. We managed to get quite a few right! We had everything from runners, ballerinas, dancers to someone sleeping with a teddy bear. Lots of imagination taking place
The final sculpture was to use clay. We used air drying clay and the children set about making them up and posing them. We had a Jedi ninja, two practising yoga, one reading a book, a superhero and more. We looked at everyone’s models to see if we could determine what they were doing.
It was a fun and busy afternoon learning about Giacometti and I hope it left the children inspired about things they can do themselves with their own artwork to convey movement and emotions.