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C U R R I C U L U M

     First of all, rest assured that the teachings of Art For the Sky are aligned with benchmarks and content standards set by the board of education. The beauty of an Art For the Sky week is how well it dovetails with regular school work AND stimulates the imagination like few things in school can!

     Prior to Art For the Sky week, teachers are encouraged to excite children about a giant art project that is coming to their school that is going to help them learn about what it is like to see from a "birds point of view".  Thousands of years ago in Peru, native people created gigantic figures in the desert like this one below, called the "astronaut."  No one is sure exactly why they did this. There are many theories and you can learn about them via links found on this website. Children love mysteries and this is a big one! You might begin discussions about "perspective." What differences are there in looking at things obliquely and from above, from close-up and from far away, i.e., Earth from space, a leaf through a microscope, etc. What advantages are there to be able to see from above? Why do you think the ancient people of the desert did art that only made sense from the sky. How might this kind of art help us solve our problems today? And finally, why might it be important to use our imaginations to learn to see through the eyes of other species.

astronaut

     Math teachers may want to begin discussing principles of  "enlarging from scale," a technique used by artists throughout history. Science teachers may want to study the life cycle of the chosen animal or natural form in the design chosen by the school, the environmental problems they face, their history and importance to humans. History teachers can help children examine the role of  symbolism in different cultures.  Art  teachers may choose to look at the unique history of art literally written upon the Earth as geoglyphs and intaglios. Why did the ancients employ this art form and how can this way of art in it's modern context, help us solve problems today? How does sky art demonstrate the power of collaboration.

See our LINKS page for amazing explorations in to the Mystery of Sky Art.

Exciting Classroom Project
Assign each student a single square in a grid of the symbol we will be working with. On their own, they will enlarge this part of the design into a much bigger version by drawing it freehand. Each freshly drawn or colored square of the design is then put up on the classroom wall like a puzzle for an amazing creative and HUGE colorful rendition of the image that will be created on the field!

    A wonderful topic to explore is flying dreams. One-third of people have them which suggests that in a way . . . we are already aquatinted with our skysight. It's been said that we only use a small portion of our brains. Could a form of "flight" be locked in inside of us? Children love to explore this topic with art and in writing. One very fun way to begin to help students to learn to shift their perspective is to have them design skysight glasses like those below! Have students cut them out from a pattern, writing messages/affirmations on the inside panels before folding over and coloring/decorating them. This is an empowering way for them to breathe their essence into their intention about awakening their skysight.

skysight
"Dude . . . Get your skysight on!"

Letter to the Earth and Future Generations!

      After each project is over please have your students right a Letter to the Earth and Future Generations. I promise you, they will be very inspired to do so! This has proven to be one of the most powerful and heartfelt exercises a young person can do!

earth

    Sky art or aerial art, (basically art meant to be seen from above)  has a 3000 year history dating back to the Nazca Lines of Peru. To this day, no one has solved the riddle of why a culture that could not fly (as far as we know) created art that makes no sense on the ground. Crop circles are another sky art phenomenon that intrigues the world with new images appearing mysteriously every year.  With regard to making sky art with humans as the art itself, two early 20th century photographers named Arthur Mole and John Thomas are the originators. They arranged as many as 35,000 military personnel at a time into astounding patriotic living insignias such as the Statue of Liberty, Uncle Sam, and president Wilson below.Travel here and be blown away by this work!

artmole

      Students can play a part in helping create the design of the image that will be used on the field. To enable this, teachers are asked to supply the students with green colored paper which mimics the grass of the athletic field and then ask children to draw their version of a bird, tree, salmon . . . whatever figure the school has chosen for its design. Unlike the ancients who only used light and dark shades of soil and rocks to color their figures, we have colorful clothing to work with!

What C O LORS  work best with a green grass background?
What are the C OLO RS that should be avoided?

What colors look good t og e t h e r?

It's really important for the design to POP OUT!!

     Speaking of green, how green is your school? Do you recycle? Do you have a dishwasher in your cafeteria or do you throw tons of plastic plates away every day? Part of learning to see the big picture with our sky sight is to look at how sustainable our schools are. Check out the wise owl in this super kid friendly sight about helping to make your school ecologically responsible. Did you know that in the average elementary school in America, each students throws away approximately 70lbs of packaging waste . . . that's nearly 20,000 lbs a year! See wastefreelunches.org for some inspiration on how to change things!

    Students should look carefully at the "art for the sky" images on this website to learn about the kind of designs that work on grass with human bodies functioning as "paint." Visit the sky gallery and see the difference the elevation above the image makes.  Very few people have experimented with "human paint drops." Lets explore together.  What kind of image idea can you come up with? More complex design elements can be worked in if one uses material like leaves, recycled cans or paper, thrift shop clothing, etc..

     Students interested in photography, video or journalism have a unique opportunity to play a part in the documentation of our Sky Art project. We are happy to provide assistance in these areas as requested. The local paper always shows up to take photographs and conduct student interviews providing unique interactions with the media world.

"Good Luck! Have Fun!"