Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tatebanko- Japanese diorama making

For the past two years, I have done a unit called "Art and Social Activism" with my 8th grade students. I had only ever seen a unit like this in the high schools and I felt my students could 100% relate to the topics. I have been pleased with just how well my students handle these difficult topics and how much pride they take in their work as they express themselves creatively.

For my 3D Art students, I had them choose a social issue that effects our local community. They researched statistics and local organizations that help those in need throughout the Fox Cities. I was impressed with the wide variety of topics the students chose.

Next we learned about the Japanese art of diorama making. It was a good way to incorporate 3D knowledge of deconstruction, balance, depth and overall structure building.

If you're not familiar with the art behind Tatebankos, check out this cool video! Even if social activism doesn't fit as a unit in your classroom, this is a really fun project for students. It involves a lot of problem solving and is a really fun take on the classic diorama/tunnel book.

Social Issue: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Step one was to have students thumbnail sketch their ideas. I urged students to use metaphors/similes. This made the imagery a little more unique and personal. Then using colored pencil they labeled each layer so they had a good idea of what needed to go where and I could see how they understood the concepts of creating depth.

Social Issue: Bullying

Social Issue: Depression

Step Two was to conference with each student on what materials would work best for their idea. Most used chipboard (thin cardboard) with paint or colored pencil. As you can see some students resourced alternative materials like transparency paper, puzzle pieces, etc. 

Social Issue: Mental Illness (primarily schizophrenia) 

Social Issue: Depression
To create the "cloud" around the cool colored person this student used sandpaper to create texture on transparency paper! Super fun!

Social Issue: Bullying

Social Issue: Pollution

Social Issue:Bulimia/Anorexia

The final step was layering their pieces on the base and finally building the box. Some students made full boxes and some chose to leave the top off to allow a little more light in. A few students even utilized black light to give their piece a "darker" feel! 

I can't express how happy I am with the outcome of this project. It was exciting to problem solve along side my students and to encourage all their amazingly creative ideas. Each Tatebanko turned out a little different and that is a beautiful thing! These were a hit at our "Art and Social Activism" art show!

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping in!

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