This is an "in-progress" post so I promise to update once the students have finished painting these masterpieces.
I started this project by introducing artist Scott Musgrove, who is now one of my FAVORITE contemporary artists!
Scott is an artist who works in a variety of different mediums and subject matter, but for this project I focused on his "Specious Beast" collection. In this series, Scott creates one of a kind, outstandingly strange animals and then pairs them with proper species names. Check out his website here.
This opened up an opportunity for me to teach "Binomial Nomenclature" (or scientific naming) to my students. They had so much fun picking out genus and species names that told the origins of their one of a kind creatures. I also plan to include a short narrative writing assignment while we wait for these beauties to dry. (Scott writes a lot of his adventures where he "discovers" his creatures)
I also paired this lesson with a local exhibit of Dr. Suess' "Unorthodox Taxidermy" and gave extra credit for students who went and viewed the installation at our local museum.
The students are at the firing stage of their projects so I thought I'd share (fingers crossed everyone remembered their clay rules and no explosions happen) an in-progress look at these outlandish creatures!
Frog+rattle snake + unicorn
Tiger + Turtle + Human
I want to emphasize that I left this project extremely open ended. I re-taught basic clay procedures and helped along the way, but the students could combine whatever they wanted to create their creatures. They also could think of other materials (besides clay) to add to their projects post-fire. Although most chose to combine animals/fantasy creatures, there are quite a few (not pictured) that combined inanimate objects and animals!
Stay tuned for final projects!