For a Grade 6 class at Dr. David R. Williams Public School in Oakville, the use of their laundry has become an effective learning tool.
Schools are using creativity and imagination more than ever before as schools have shifted to remote learning for the next couple of weeks. Teacher Aimee Kim used the opportunity to help her students continue important instruction by having them creatively use clothes to demonstrate art and art history.
Students were tasked with recreating famous works of art using laundry/clothes only. They researched well-known paintings and chose pieces of art with bold colours, distinct lines and details they felt they could recreate with things they had handy at home. Students chose to recreate Edvard Munch’s Scream and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa paintings.
“With the switch to remote learning, I wanted to ensure we kept to our regular schedule as much as possible, which includes our weekly art class,” Kim says. “Ensuring I had engagement from every student, the materials list had to be easy so there was no additional stress to find ‘art supplies’. The task also needed to be open to all levels of comfort.”
Kim says she hopes students used this laundry art activity to challenge how they view art.
“I hoped students would learn more about thinking outside the box by trying to create art pieces with new materials we haven't used before,” she says, noting the activity connected to the visual arts curriculum by understanding composition to help show rhythm, balance, and emotion. “Presenting students with this challenge also taught them to persevere and have a growth mindset in order to complete the task while thinking about different elements of art. I also loved this activity because it got them moving a bit to find their pieces and gave them a bit of a body break from the screen.”
The laundry art compositions were so impressive and showed how focused students were in creating their pieces, Kim says.
“They worked so hard to look at the painting's colour, texture, and placement to find the right materials.”
Students say they had so much fun creating laundry art and they hope they can do it again.
“It was a great way to show art in a doable way because lots of people do not have art supplies at home during online school, so it might be hard to do art,” says Grade 6 student Jeena. “Laundry art is super fun because of the challenge of structuring and forming your clothing in a certain way and how you can show so much with so little.”
Principal Janet Ricciardelli says in-person classes at Dr. David R. Williams PS have transitioned well to the shift to remote learning.
“From the start, teachers worked on establishing online routines and expectations with their classes and I think this has allowed for a smooth shift to the virtual format of synchronous (real-time) instruction,” she says. “Teachers have been able to incorporate many of their regular classroom activities into the daily schedule and have also been successful in introducing new and innovative learning tasks such as this laundry art example.”
Ricciardelli says she is “thoroughly impressed” with how engaged students are in their learning at home.
“Teachers are sharing ideas collaboratively and are accessing many of the online tools that are new to them. I am confident our students will continue to be challenged academically and develop a wide range of new skills.”