Three sixth graders work together to create a papier mache robot
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has identified collaboration as an important proficiency for today’s students to develop: “Students will work together effectively to share and accept responsibility, compromise respectfully to reconcile diverse ideas, and accomplish a common goal.” (Partnership for21st Century Skills, http://www.p21.org/). In the CBMS art studio, students may choose to work independently, with a partner or in small groups.
When students choose to work in a team, the collective energy of creating together is powerful and motivating.
This Pirate Ship is the product of five 6th grade artists working together with a shared vision and high standards.
Usually collaborative projects are confined to a single class and a single grade, but sometimes a project jumps across the contrived borders of the school day to be shared between students from different classes. In these cases, a sort of messaging system is devised so that the next group attending to the project will know “what’s next” or what has been accomplished already.
Art collaborations sometimes leak out of the regular school day and are worked on after school, checked on between classes, or attended to at recess. Some of the most enthusiastic, creative middle school artists at CBMS are those who collaborate to make art.