Native animals…adaptation…urbanisation

Through dance, drawing, platicine, clay, silk painting, collage and construction, 5A captured the beauty and magnitude, resourcefulness and plight of animals native to the United Kingdom as well as both Poles.

The traditional drawing technique of scaling-up was employed on a number of occasions, culminating in life-sized polar creatures.

Our fortnight commenced in the United Kingdom, with 5A choosing native animals to incorporate into their illustrations. These drawings became the inspiration for their clay tiles and silk paintings. Red squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes and owls were popular choices with stags, robins and hares making appearances too.

5A were encouraged to use a viewfinder to select a section of their illustration that they thought would work compositionally. Their clay slabs represented their chosen view. The relief was made by using the skills of cross-hatching and applying slip to attach the clay shape onto the slab. Once dry, they were then painted with acrylics.

For the silks, this view was then scaled-up. Using a pencil and ruler they drew a simple grid (4 x 4) on the image selected and then transferred onto a larger 4 x 4 grid. Working one square at a time, they copied the lines until the animal slowly appeared. Then working with a partner, they made their silk frames by pinning the silk onto the wooden frame so that it was taut. With their scaled-up drawing beneath the silk, they then used gutta to draw the outline of their creatures. The gutta acts as a barrier, so that the silk inks do not bleed into each other when being applied unless a conscious decision. The results were impressive.

The life-sized polar creatures required research on behalf of 5A. What were the measurements of their creature? They then took a simple image of this animal, drew a simple grid over it and transferred onto corrugated card. This card had been cut and assembled together to allow the  length and height measurements of their polar creature to be drawn. A grid on the corrugated card –similar to the process for the silks but much bigger- was then drawn


The polar creatures were decorated with newspaper.  By tearing and cutting the sheets of paper texture was created and definition of the features was made by adding tissue paper. This process required team work and patience. In order to go again the next day, we watched ‘Austin’s Butterfly’. Through constructive critique and descriptive feedback from their peers, each group had areas to work on. The results were fantastic!

Once again, it was wonderful to invite 5A’s parents and interested adults to share in the arts celebration. The following feedback gives you a little insight into how incredible our young people are:

‘I am proud of Sara’s beautiful drawings and her dance. It showed me how much she has gained in confidence and how she is stepping out of her comfort zone.’

‘I am really proud of seeing how much Ezra has engaged with all the learning and how much he has enjoyed it. Some fantastic work and it’s fantastic to see how much he enjoys all aspects of arts fortnight. It’s something he always looks forward to.’

‘It was really good to see or witness what kids do and learn at school 🙂 especially art work!! Amazing.’

‘I have found how much Jayden’s imagination has come on. A very happy boy. The children seem happy with each other. Fantastic work. Well done.’

‘I am very impressed with how confident she was throughout the performance.’

‘Emily’s art work is full of expression. I can tell how much she has enjoyed completing it.’

‘I am proud of how Riya and her class have pushed themselves creatively.’

Native animals … adaption … urbanisation
Year 5 Pole to Pole dance

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