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Is It Trash? Sculpture That Recycles

Amy Migliore-Dest

Contents of Curriculum Unit 10.01.08:

To Guide Entry


"When you put together things that other people have thrown out, you're really bringing them to life a spiritual life that surpasses the life they were originally created for." (1)
-Louise Nevelson

I am a Visual Arts teacher at Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School. Betsy Ross is an inter-district magnet middle school with an emphasis on the arts. I have been teaching the Visual Arts for 10 years. We serve students from many districts in Grades 5-8. Our school promotes an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, fusing the arts and academics. This integration of disciplines promotes a positive learning environment with a shared passion for information and a heightened awareness of our environment, both locally and globally. It enables students to appreciate all subject areas and through this process reaches many different types of learners.

Consumerism, overconsumption and waste will be the starting point for this unit, as it will provide for us not only the materials which we will use to create art, but will also provide us with food for thought and inspiration for change. Students will be asked to evaluate and reevaluate what they as citizens consume, what they can reduce and what they waste. We will discuss recycling basics and also discuss ideas on how to reuse items that are usually thrown away. We will also discuss how art can be a part of these ideas. Artists will be introduced to students and they will discuss a wide range of inspirational pieces by Louise Nevelson, Joseph Cornell, Betye Saar, Andy Goldsworthy and Clare Graham. Students will also research and participate in a range of activities from navigating the Environmental Protection Agency's website to collecting and analyzing personal waste and creating a sculpture with these materials.

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What does a middle school student need for inspiration? It is a question that all of us who are teachers of this age group struggle to find suitable answers for on a regular basis. I feel I have an inspirational advantage to teaching art to this age because art can provide a necessary outlet for expression that these students sometimes desperately need. Usually, things that are new to them inspire them or, more importantly, speak to them. They tend to relate to art that shows emotion and tells a story. Exposing students to different types of art and the artists who create them is essential in any art education program. By using a variety of artists for each unit I teach, I am bound to strike a chord with many of the students. Also, in dealing with middle-school-aged students, success is a key component. If the student feels success, it helps them to participate more constructively in a class.

My most important goal in teaching art, not only in this unit, but in my everyday teaching, is to help students understand that the meaning of art is often found within the spectator. I often find myself redirecting the question of "what does that mean" onto the student who asked it, because the answer is what does it mean to YOU. It is important to teach students that artists have a valuable message to send, even if the message is understood differently by everyone. This unit touches upon these very questions and will have the students also asking one another the same during their own artistic process.

We will find inspiration by looking at and discussing various pieces of art by a handful of artists. Students, I hope, will look at these artists and their work as an inspiration and starting point for their own ideas. An important part of the Visual Arts curriculum both on a local and national level is the reflection on and discussion of works of art from a wide range of time periods and genres. The artists who are listed below and their work will engage the students in this type of artistic critique and discussion.

Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson begins our discussion of inspiration because she was herself an avid recycler and her pieces of art are extremely inspiring. Of course, what Louise Nevelson was doing in the 1930s was not yet called recycling. Nevelson was a collector of materials. Her work is generally made with wood: tabletop pieces as well as various throw away items that she resurrected. Nevelson's father owned a lumberyard and at a very young age she was creating environments out of salvaged wood. Her sculptures can be used as a teaching tool in a variety of ways. For instance, these pieces provide an example of the very type of art I am trying to teach, abstract with a variety of meaning. The simplistic beauty and quality of her sculpture will inspire students. The materials she used are recognizable as common pieces of wood that many people have seen on decks, gardens or in garages. In my experience, students in middle school respond to her art because they feel it is something they can create themselves. Some of Nevelson's pieces that will be discussed are Mirror Shadow XXXXIII, 1987; Half Moon I, 1961; Silent Music I, 1964; Dawn's Wedding Chapel I, 1959; and Forgotten City, 1955.

Joseph Cornell

The work of Joseph Cornell is both mysterious and powerful. It is the type of art that can create curiosity, wonder and awe. We will discuss his shadowboxes and found objects, or assemblage. Assemblage is a style of art that puts together various types of found objects in order to create an artistic composition. Joseph Cornell is an inspiring artist, especially to students of this age, because they seem to relate to his work. They relate to Cornell because many of his pieces appear to be an antiquated method of scrapbooking, with a box instead of a book. He uses pieces of materials students may very well have in their garages or junk drawers. Cornell had no formal artistic training. He, like Louise Nevelson, was a collector of things. He created visual messages with items that symbolically represented people and times. Cornell used a variety of materials, which he collected himself such as photographs, glass, and literature and arranged them in boxes.

Joseph Cornell will be valuable to our discussions because he had no formal art training he just simply placed things creatively in boxes, which created an identity for each piece of art. This is always an interesting fact for students to learn. Art can be what you make it, and you do not need to train extensively at an art school in order to effectively send a message through art. The parallel between Cornell and what I am hoping to teach is two-fold. It is important for students to see an artist who uses found objects creatively, as well as, an artist who sends a message to his audience. Students will create assemblage sculptures using found objects to further encourage the recycling or salvaging of objects to create art, thus reinforcing the lessening of waste. Cornell's artwork will create a platform for inspiration and ideas.

Some of Cornell's pieces that will be discussed are Untitled (Cockatoo and Corks), 1948; Untitled (The Hotel Eden), 1945; Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall), 1945-6; Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery, 1943; Untitled (Soap Bubble Set), 1936. Most of his pieces can be seen online at www.ibiblio.org.

Betye Saar

Betye Saar has been creating political statements through her assemblage and installations for many years. Her piece, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima is a powerful statement criticizing of racial oppression in the 1960s. Most of her work is assemblage pieces using dolls, canoes and other found objects. There is deep meaning in these pieces and they invoke powerful emotions about race and inequality. This artist is relevant to this unit because of the importance and strength of her message. I am looking for students to convey the same message about recycling and consumer waste.

Saar is also pertinent to this unit in that she uses materials that are uncommon to most artists. Students can use Beyte Saar as an example of how to use various materials to send an important message. Students will also discuss Limbo: A Transitional State or Place, 1994. This piece is a large scale installation of a canoe floating over branches, which holds two chairs on either side of a table of burning candles. "The objects in the work interact to suggest many meanings related to journeys, shadow lives, and perhaps escape into death or dreams." (2) We will discuss what we think the meaning of this piece of art is and how it might speak to our own personal experiences in life, death and dreams.

Andy Goldsworthy

We will look at the work of contemporary artist Andy Goldsworthy, who creates pieces of art from natural materials such as leaves, sticks, feathers, etc, and then photographs them immediately after their creation. I have included this artist because I find his work inspiring, and I also felt that students need to see examples of artwork that does not need any materials, recycled or otherwise, that cannot be found outside one's front door. The purpose of this unit is for students to be inspired by pieces of art that are made from unusual materials. It is also for students to see that you don't need canvases and paint to create art. You can create art with and for anything. Andy Goldsworthy is an artist that most students have not been exposed to but one that they can truly learn from. These pieces by Goldsworthy can show students just how beautiful simple can be.

Recycle Art

We will look at Recycle artists, artists who make art out of recycled materials. I found a great example of this type of art online. Clare Graham is a recycle artist whose work is fascinating. His website www.claregraham.com has excellent examples that students will find interesting and inspiring. Some examples of his pieces are using aluminum cans to make coffee tables, bottle caps to make chandeliers or making sculptures with materials such as buttons, yardsticks, swizzle sticks, dominos or scrabble tiles. His body of work is a great example for the types of sculptures the students will be creating themselves. Students will have an open discussion about these artists, compare them and discuss likes, dislikes and thoughts about this type of art.

The wide range of artists I have chosen for the students to look at is to provide them with an understanding of the messages that these artists send through their work. I believe that each work has its own meaning and this meaning is sometimes something we can understand and learn from. Interpretation of art and the placement of value are evaluated differently based on the viewer. I hope that students can identify and relate to at least one of the artists presented to them through this unit. With that said, there are also many artists who could have been used in this unit. Judy Chicago's, Dinner Table could certainly be a piece that could be discussed. Jean-Michel Basquiat who used windows and doors to paint on could have also been discussed.

This unit will give students an opportunity to send their own message and to help them gain an understanding of the importance of that message. So often we think the little things we do each day to reduce our carbon footprint are irrelevant. I want to show my students that this is not the case. It is my objective for them to show their audience that they believe in recycling and lessening their waste. I am hoping to create or raise awareness in my students about their impact on the environment and their ability to make a difference. We will achieve this by creating pieces of art that use exclusively recycled materials, or materials that can be found in nature.

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"A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs."
-Mark Twain (3)

Maybe our culture has not changed so much since Mark Twain wrote this sentence. It is so simple, yet says so much about our culture today. Has it always been this way? Do we always want more than we need? It is learning to live with only what we actually need that can present a challenge or an utter inconvenience! As a consequence of this needing, comes consumerism, which models citizens who overbuy and overconsume. I am not looking to teach my students that what they need and want are necessary or unnecessary, I seek to convey a message of regard for the products they no longer need that may be headed for the landfill.

Trying to teach students' valuable lessons about the difference between want and need is not necessarily the focus of this unit. However, it may be something they can understand over time and with guidance. This unit is about recycling material to create art in order to spread a message about recycling and waste. This unit is about learning the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. It is also about creating conscientious citizens who exist in a community that cares for our natural environment. It is about teaching my students to make a difference.

This unit looks to create awareness in our everyday lives and to express that awareness through the creation of pieces of art. The connection to the art and the awareness is that the materials will consist only of materials that are recycled, would have otherwise been thrown away, or even materials from our natural environment, dependant upon the choices of the students. Teaching the students an awareness and appreciation for their materials is something that I strive for on a consistent basis. This will be more evident because the materials we will be using will be everyday things, like old CDs, not necessarily art materials, like paint. Being in an environment of interdisciplinary education will enable me to effectively teach this unit to my students, as I can connect this unit with the Science curriculum.

In addition, I want my students to understand the impact that waste has on the environment. I also want students to come to some conclusions, or at least have thoughts about, what will happen if the population does not undergo a paradigm shift of sorts. These thoughts will be discussed in class, as well as elaborated on in journal entries throughout the course of the unit.

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According to the National Recycling Coalition, the average American discards 7 ½ pounds of garbage everyday. (4) If we were to multiply this number by the number of students at our school, we as a school community generate 3,750 pounds of garbage daily and 675,000 pounds of garbage in a 180-day school year! I think that the students will find this fact to be astounding, which will pique their interest and motivate them to learn more. I want to create a knowledge base for the students concerning recycling and waste and focus on the amount of waste we generate as a school as a starting point.

According to the Connecticut Recycling Coalition, the State of Connecticut has yet to achieve its state set goal of recycling 40% of its waste and Connecticut burns 60% of its trash, which is more than any other state. (5)

The top ten reasons to recycle as published on the National Recycling Coalition website are:

Good for the Economy American companies rely on recycling programs to provide materials they need to make new products
Creates Jobs recycling in the U.S. is a $236 billion a year industry. More than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers worldwide
Good for the Environment recycling requires far less energy, uses fewer natural resources and keeps waste from piling up in landfills
Saves Energy Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with virgin materials
Preserves Landfill Space recycling preserves existing landfill space
Prevents Global Warming in 2000, recycling of solid waste prevented the release of 32.9 million metric tons of carbon equivalent into the air
Reduces Water Pollution making goods from recycled materials reduces generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials
Protects Wildlife using recycled materials reduces the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers and other places essential to wildlife
Creates New Demand recycling and buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products, decreasing waste and helping our economy (6)

Recycling is not only important, it is the law! I know that many students are not aware of the fact that recycling certain items is the law in Connecticut. The following items are required by law to be recycled: glass and metal food and beverage containers, corrugated cardboard, newspaper, white office paper (residences exempt), scrap metal, Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries (from consumer products) waste oil (crankcase oil from internal combustion engines), storage batteries (from motor vehicles), leaves (must be composted), grass clippings (banned from disposal - should be left on the lawn or, if necessary, composted). (7) There are many more things that can be recycled, but this is the minimum under Connecticut state law. In 2003, EPA reported the energy savings from recycling in the US accounted for roughly 1,486 trillion Btu in energy savings - an amount equivalent to the consumption of 11.9 billion gallons of gasoline or 256 million barrels of crude oil! (8)

Of course the reasons to recycle are compelling enough. However, it is important for students to understand what can actually be made from these materials. According to www.americarecyclesday.org glass beverage containers can be recycled over and over again. They can be used to make roads, marbles, decorative tiles, surfboards and many other things; (9) five plastic soda bottles (PET) yield enough fiber for one extra large T-shirt, one square foot of carpet or enough fiber to fill one ski jacket. (10)

While reviewing all the reasons to recycle, it is important for students to truly understand these reasons and the ways they directly and indirectly affect their lives now and in the future. It is mildly apparent that all of my students realize the importance of recycling. Although it is very common for people to recycle today, it seems we are still creating an exorbitant amount of waste. While it seems evident that there is an increased awareness in caring for the Earth, it does not change the facts that there are millions of pounds of waste being thrown away every day. The students always look for the recycle bins to justify asking for another piece of paper instead of using an eraser, but they seldom change the way they handle materials. When I recently asked a class of 12 students how many of them actively recycle at home, fewer than half raised their hands. In fact, many of them did not even know how to recycle their waste.

The City of New Haven publishes a guide to recycling in the city. This document can be downloaded at http://cityofnewhaven.com/PublicWorks/pdfs/Recycling_Program.pdf in both English and Spanish. I will have copies for the students and will review all of the items on the list and we will discuss what they can recycle at home and at school. We can also come up with ideas on how to recycle things in our homes without putting them in the recycling bin, like using a tissue box to store all those plastic grocery bags. We will I hope come up with so many ideas, that students can generate a list for distribution in our school.

Where does it all go? Landfills are the final resting place for most of our personal waste. However, there are a variety of materials that should NOT be thrown away into the regular trash. Obviously, recyclable materials should be placed in the blue bins and HHW (Household Hazardous Waste) should be disposed of separately. There are dates to drop off these HHW products in New Haven and the students will be provided with a copy of them to bring home to their families. It is one of my goals to have my students understand these basic facts about recycling and landfills so they can become responsible, environmentally conscious young adults.

Change is a very difficult thing for all people, at any age. Average middle-school students are not usually interested in things that do not center on themselves, their peers, their idols or a variety of stimulating technological devices. They do not worry about throwing away batteries, or not recycling their glass bottles. My goal is to inspire my students to think about reducing, reusing and recycling all the time. This is not only a unit on promoting recycling, it is a unit on reducing what we use so we do not have to recycle as much, and reusing the things we have to lessen our waste. Students this age do not always realize the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. Small steps that they take now will make a difference in the future.

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It is my hope that in this unit, students will do all of the following:

Gain an understanding of the importance of reducing, reusing, recycling in their own lives
Discover strategies that they can use to reduce their waste, such as buying a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water
Introduce or review how to recycle household waste and what items should not be thrown away
Be able to discuss various artists and their work, including Joseph Cornell and Louise Nevelson and Andy Goldsworthy
Understand how a landfill works and why it is important to recycle certain materials
Be aware of the ten important reasons to recycle
Create their own sculpture that will send a message to their audience about recycling and waste

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On the day before I begin the actual teaching of this unit, I am going to distribute one or two plastic grocery bags to students and ask them to collect all of their personal waste (with the exception of food) during the course of one day. When the students return the bag to class, they will fill out an inventory of all of the items in the bag. The inventory will ask the students to list the waste under recyclable or non-recyclable. It will also ask the students to explain the reason for throwing the items away. Could any of these items have another use for them or someone else? This will give students an opportunity to see just how many things they discard in the course of the day and to consider what they could have done to change the amount of things they collected. It is important for students to understand these options. My hope is that they will see recycling bins that say reduce, reuse, recycle and actually understand and apply what they mean, instead of being immune to them. I am hoping to repeat this exercise with students at the end of the unit to see if there is any difference in the amount of things they discard.

As a class, we will work on computers and visit the Environmental Protection Agency's website, which has many links for students. There are many resources for students to explore. Students can read a comic book about the life-cycle of garbage, do a crossword puzzle about reducing, reusing and recycling, as well as, read about green shopping, the life cycle of CDs, cell phones and soccer balls. This knowledge will empower students to feel that everything they do can and will make a difference. These resources have so much information and will enable students to find creative ways to implement the 3 R's (reducing, reusing and recycling) into their lives and the lives of those they know. We will also visit the National Recycling Coalition website, which has a recycling "conversionator". This tool enables the user to drag a recycled material, such as; aluminum can, into the "conversionator". This tool then produces a fact about the material. An example of one of these facts is "every 3 months, Americans landfill enough aluminum cans to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet."(11) This website will give students an opportunity to find out their own facts based on the material they choose.

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Lesson One

Lesson Overview

This lesson will serve as a vehicle for the students to better understand how to create sculptures and a visually pleasing piece of art that is balanced and structurally sound. This will exercise the students' ability to problem-solve some of the basic sculptural skills that they will need to use during the course of the unit, including balance and composition. It will also serve as a reminder of all of the things that we can so easily throw away in the course of a day. This mini-sculpture will also help the students become familiar with the materials, one of which they may have to chose for their final piece of art.


Lesson One will be one or two 56-minute class periods and will involve 7th and 8th graders during different periods.

Previous Assignment

Students will be given an assignment and plastic bags to collect all of their personal waste throughout the course of the day. They will bring these bags to class the day of this lesson.


Sketchbooks, pencils, paper, collection of personal waste, a variety of adhesives, such as hot glue and epoxy, City of New Haven recycle sheet

Instructional Objectives

Students will:

Analyze their collection of personal waste and put it into a category of recyclable, non-recyclable or landfill waste or hazardous household waste
Discuss ways they can lessen the amount of waste they use
Plan out how they will build a sculpture
Create a sculpture out of these materials

Instructional Plan

Students will begin by analyzing their personal waste that they had previously collected for homework. This analysis will include working with a partner and with the City of New Haven guide to recycling to determine where each piece of waste would end up. Students will have to put the waste in three piles: recyclable, landfill or hazardous household waste. Students will also discuss with the class ways in which they could have lessened this waste. An example being able to lessen their waste would be: if there were a plastic water bottle in the collection, students will discuss the benefits of buying a reusable bottle and filling it from home. Students sometimes are not aware of the simple ways in which they can lessen their waste.

After students categorize their collection, they will use visual problem solving skills to create a sculpture out of this waste. They will have to create balance with the elements and something that is visually pleasing. This will not be a planned sculpture. It is a simple exercise in quick creativity. The students will use a variety of glues, depending on the materials they have collected. They will work on these sculptures independently and then gather for a critique.

Students will discuss each student's sculpture in an open discussion and critique. They will be encouraged to use art vocabulary and provide each other with constructive criticism. Students will collectively decide which materials work well in each sculpture, as they will need this information for their final piece of art. This sculpture is intended for students to use their artistic abilities without using planning and strategy.


Students will be assessed in several areas. They will be assessed on their completion of the collection of waste. They will also be assessed on their ability to separate their waste and work with another student to complete this task. They will also be assessed on their completion of a final sculpture, their participation in the critique and their daily journal entry.

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Lesson Two

Lesson Overview

Students will build the foundation for their final projects through the information gathered in this lesson. This lesson will review facts about reducing, reusing and recycling, as well as create the parallels between the artists we will look to for inspiration and the final goal of the unit: to create a sculpture out of all recycled or natural materials.


Lesson Two will be two 56-minute class periods and will involve 7th and 8th graders during different periods.


Computers, sketchbooks, list of personal waste made in the previous lesson, notes taken from the critique, written assessment, various reproductions of artwork from selected artists

Instructional Objectives

Students will:

Learn about the value of recycling, reusing and reducing their waste
Research local recycling practices
Review their personal waste and consider which material was successful in their sculpture
Visit the Environmental Protection Website to research ways they can practice Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and to gather information on the amount of waste we produce
Learn what Hazardous Household Waste is and how to dispose of it
Learn about the various artists that will be discussed in this unit

Instructional Plan

We will begin in the computers lab so that students can use their own computer. Students will follow along on a projector for the first part of the lesson while I am familiarizing them with the Environmental Protection Agency website. We will begin at http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/education/student_facts.htm and work as a class to review basic facts about recycling as well as ways in which we can reduce our waste and focus on conservation. Students will also thoroughly review the section of the site that provides information on how they can make a difference.

Students will then be asked to continue their research on the website and to complete a written assessment, where they will be asked a series of questions about the recycling, reusing, and reducing their waste, and several other environmentally conscious questions.

Some of these questions will include:

What do you recycle at home?
What strategies do you use or can you use to lessen the amount of waste you create and your family creates?
Are there items that you have thrown away today that you could have created another use for?

Students will also try to answer the question of consequences if our collective consumption and waste continues at this rate. Students will come up with a conclusion based on the facts presented to them. This is a connection to the Connecticut Mastery Strand for Language Arts, which involves drawing a conclusion.

During this lesson, students will look at examples of work from various artists including: Joseph Cornell, Louise Nevelson, Betye and Alison Saar, Andy Goldsworthy and Clare Graham. I will also introduce the concepts of Natural Art as illustrated by Andy Goldsworthy and Recycle Art as used by Clare Graham. These types of art are becoming increasingly more popular, especially now considering the raised awareness of caring for the environment. Recycle Art is the process of using used materials to make art, both functional and non-functional. It is amazing to see the things that one can create from used, recycled or natural materials. We will compare and contrast the works of these artists and discuss what the works of art mean. We will also draw parallels between these artists themselves and their connection to their materials. Students will discuss what messages these works of art send and what they, as artists, can take from them. This is a good exercise to do with students to get them used to talking about someone else's art, so when it comes time for them to discuss their own art, and the art of their peers, they are better prepared. This is usually best achieved if it is teacher-led, at least on the middle school level.


Students will be assessed using the written tool that was distributed in the beginning of the lesson. This will function as a written reference for them throughout the course of the unit and will be kept in their journals. Students will also be assessed on their participation in class and on their journal entry in their sketchbooks, which may include activities such as reflection on what they are doing to become more conscious of the environment.

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Lesson Three

Lesson Overview

Students will use all of the information they have gathered to begin preparation for their final project. Students will begin the planning and gathering of materials for this sculpture. They will also work with a partner to discuss ideas for sculpture. The ultimate goal of this project is for each student to create a sculpture out of material that is from nature, or would have otherwise have been thrown away or recycled. It is up to the students to use all of the visual information they have been given as a means of inspiring their own designs. Students have to use the materials and make a connection to the message they are trying to convey. Students will have had many examples of this in previous lessons through the work of the artists we discussed, so it should not be a new concept. Students working with partners will help them to refine their ideas and have a concrete plan of design.


Lesson Three will be two 56-minute class periods and will involve 7th and 8th graders during different periods.


Sketchbooks, pencils, erasers

Instructional Objectives

Students will:

Discuss as a class the environmental issues they have learned about
Discuss the various artists and how they can inspire their individual pieces
Brainstorm for ideas on what materials to use for their sculptures
Sketch ideas for how to use these materials
Commit to one thing they will do to lessen their waste for one day
Find the parallels in these artists and the issue of recycling
Review requirements for the final project

Instructional Plan

We will begin the lesson with the students providing feedback on the environmental issues they have become aware of, or already knew about and what types of steps they can take to make a difference. Students will review the list of their personal waste collection from a previous lesson. This will serve as a reminder of all of the things that we can so easily throw away in the course of a day! They will come up with three ideas of how they can make environmentally conscious choices in how and what they consume and write them in their sketchbooks. They will try to implement at least one of these for a day and report back on their results.

We will continue with a review of some of the works of art we discussed in the previous lesson. We will discuss which elements of them we like and which we do not like. Students will work with a partner to discuss their ideas for a Recycle Art sculpture, as well as the materials the students plan on using. This sculpture will be made out of all recycled or natural materials.

Students will review the requirements for creating a sculpture and review vocabulary words such as sculpture in the round, balance, three-dimensional, rhythm. They will look at examples of sculptures and discuss these concepts as they relate to the examples.


Students will be assessed on the three ideas to make small steps, their participation in the open discussion, their sketches for a sculpture, as well as their daily journal entry.

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Follow Up Activities

After completion of the sculptures, students will go on a field trip to the CRRA (Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority) Trash Museum in Stratford. Students will participate in their program, which runs for about an hour, where a docent will lead us and show us a variety of Trash Art pieces, including a 24 foot Trash-o-saurus. It will further instill the knowledge these students have gained through the course of this unit, and hopefully give them a visual message similar to the one they were trying to convey to their audience.
Students will also try to regenerate the recycling program at our school. This program has met many challenges over the years. Students will hopefully be able to find ways to implement recycling in our building.
Students will come up with a list of creative ideas to reuse, reduce and/or recycle their waste. Students will distribute this list on America Recycles Day, which is November 15.
Students may be able to set up a table on parent/teacher conference night with information about recycling in the surrounding towns in order to help families who may not know about their city's guidelines.
Students were asked to complete several personal tasks during the course of the unit. One was to collect their personal waste. It would be beneficial to repeat this exercise several months later to measure whether or not there is a difference.
Students can challenge their friends, families and teachers to commit to one waste lessening task a day, or even a week, because even the small steps we take do make a difference.

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1. Susan Bilyeu, "Louise Nevelson Working with Found Objects," Scholastic Art Magazine, (March 1995), 8-9.
2. Margaret Howlett, "African American Sculptors Featuring Betye and Alison Saar," Scholastic Art Magazine, (March 1998), 6-7.
3. Mark Twain, Following the Equator (Hartford: American Publishing Company, 1897)
4. National Recycling Coalition website. http://www.nrc-recycle.org/ (accessed April 2,
5. Connecticut Recyclers Coalition website, http://www.ctrecyclers.org/
6. National Recycling Coalition website. http://www.nrc-recycle.org/ (accessed April 2, 2010)
7. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection website http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2714&q=324896&depNav_GID=1645&depNav (accessed April 6, 2010)
8. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection website http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2714&q=324896&depNav_GID=1645&depNav
(accessed April 6, 2010)
9. America Recycles Day website http://www.americarecyclesday.org/ (accessed May 26, 2010)
10. America Recycles Day website http://www.americarecyclesday.org/ (accessed May 26, 2010)
11. National Recycling Coalition website. http://www.nrc-recycle.org/ (accessed April 22, 2010)

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Resources for Teachers

Environmental Protection Agency website http://www.epa.gov/. A great resource for both teachers and students, well organized and many statistics and games for students of all ages. (accessed March 25, 2010)

Waste Resource Conservation Reduce, Reuse, Recycle http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/rrr/reduce.htm. An excellent resource for teachers and students in that it gives many ways to reduce, reuse and recycle both personally and in the workplace, etc. (accessed March 25, 2010)

Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival website http://www.Recyclesantafe.org.

Website has photos of a trash and fashion show contest and a student art exhibit. (accessed March 22, 2010)

Recology San Francisco Artist in Residence Program website http://www.Sunsetscavenger.com/AIR. An interesting look into the Artist in Residence program and community outreach. The artist uses items from the San Francisco waste stream to create art and uses this art to educate the public. (accessed March 20, 2010)

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Resources for Students

Susan Bilyeu, "Louise Nevelson Working with Found Objects," Scholastic Art Magazine, (March 1995), 8-9.

Margaret Howlett, "African American Sculptors Featuring Betye and Alison Saar," Scholastic Art Magazine, (March 1998), 6-7.

Margaret Howlett, Art With a Message, Scholastic Art Magazine, (April/May 1999), 2-13. This edition features Judy Chicago's Dinner Party and many other pieces, including environmentally conscious pieces of art.

www.helloagain.com. A website that boasts of its effort to allow recycled products to live on. It has great visual resources of recycled art with a gallery of work from many artists, as well as changing exhibitions, blogs and facts. (accessed May 22, 2010)

Mary Landers, "Please Meet Johnnie Powers: At 82, He's Still Recycling"

http://savannahnow.com/news/2010-03-22/please-meet-johnnie-powers-82-hes-still-recycling. An inspiring article about an elderly man who still works with recycled, salvaged wood and builds furniture and other pieces for homes. (accessed May 2, 2010)

http://www.recyclart.org/. This website has so many large scale visual examples of recycled art that are so incredible to look at and learn from; also shows multiple uses for objects, such as a rubber boot bag, school bus as a bus stop, crocheted plastic bag sculptures, siding of a building made with crushed cans. (accessed May 15, 2010)

Joseph Cornell Box website http://www.josephcornellbox.com/. This website has information on the life of Joseph Cornell and sells a kit to create an identity box. (accessed May 15, 2010)

Andy Goldsworthy website

http://www.morning-earth.org/artistnaturalists/an_goldsworthy.html. This website has many examples of his work. (accessed May 27, 2010)

Trash and Climate Change: Planet Protectors Discover the Hidden Reasons to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (epa.gov/osw/kids.htm, July 2000) can be found at (http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/rrr/reduce.htm). This website has a lot of information and ideas for students and what they can do to decrease their amount of waste and to recycle what they do use. (accessed April 2, 2010)

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Implementing Educational Standards

Students will touch upon many of State of Connecticut Content Standards for the Visual Arts. Below is a list of the standards that I feel are most apparent in this unit.

Content Standard 1: Media Students will select media, techniques and processes to communicate ideas, reflect on their choices and analyze what makes them effective

Content Standard 2: Elements and Principles Students will recognize and reflect on the effects of arranging visual characteristics in their own and others' work

Content Standard 4: History and Culture Students will know and compare the characteristics and purposes of works of art representing carious cultures, historical periods and artists

Content Standard 5: Analysis, Interpretation and Evaluation Students will compare a variety of individual responses to, and interpretations of, their own works and those from various eras and cultures

Content Standard 6: Connections Students will describe ways in which the principles and subject matter of the visual arts and other disciplines taught in school are interrelated

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