Collaborating School”


The final step in the project was to learn about mazes and labyrinths and create such a design on each bookmark using three-dimensional paint.

Collaborating Teachers:

Lorrene Palermo (FES 2nd and 3rd grade teacher), Kim DesJardins (BFA Art Teacher), and MC Baker (FES Art Teacher)

This is a project that we designed during in-service where we were trying to build a connection to others and build a sense of community within our students.  We are collaborating with Kim DesJardins (art teacher at BFA).  We have completed an art exchange with our students and had a FaceTime with the students.  Built on the idea of “ATCs” (Artist Trading Cards), we took the idea and morphed it into a similar idea.  Our students would be creating a unique bookmark that would be exchanged with their “sister school” BFA.  

In Fletcher’s Art Room:

Day 1:  

Introduce Mark Rothko and his art style called “color field painting”.  As a class we looked at his art work, we discussed the scale and scope of his work.  We also discussed how colors make us feel.  Students know that there will be an exchange going on and they are very excited already to see that their art is reaching a wider audience!








Day 2:

Students gather and quickly review the project, introduce more art vocabulary words, and give a demonstration and introduce how to add colors and tones of color to paper.  We used texture tools, rollers, brushes, and their hands to add paint to large sheets of watercolor paper.  The group work was lots of FUN and an exciting, collaborative approach to making art.  It complimented the project’s theme of a community share though art.  I love getting my students excited and working together.  This project was meant to be FUN, loud (music playing, kids talking and laughing), and full of experimentation.  This went very well and all the children seemed engaged and participating.  I led the students in some mindfulness yoga poses using the words that they had come up with.  This worked really well because they were able to quiet their minds and test the words out.  This provided a good transition to the final activity or playing around with mazes.  At their tables they were able to work together or individually to come up with some ideas for finger mazes.

Day 3:  

Introduction of the idea of mazes, labyrinths, and mindfulness to the class.  Students transferred their labyrinth design onto these bookmarks and the students put puff paint onto these designs,  The idea is that on one side there will be a “wow word” that centers them and on the flip side, there will be this finger labyrinth that will be 3-d puff paint and students will really be able to FEEL the labyrinth.  As the person traces the labyrinth, they should think of this mindfulness “wow word”, close their eyes, and work to center themselves.  

Our 3-D “finger labyrinth” on one side of the bookmark:

Day 4:  

Using music, books, discussion, yoga breaks and other sources of inspiration, students brainstormed the words that would ultimately be written on their bookmarks.  Introduction of “wow words” was lead by Mrs. Palermo.  We looked at several examples and talk about what makes each of us calm.  Students work to find a word that centers them (ie: peace, calm, breathe, etc).  The “big  idea” was that there would be a centering and calming word on one side, followed by a finger maze or labyrinth on the other side.  The whole bookmark would be created from the student’s paintings and would be a resource for them when they need to refocus.

On the other side was a “wow word” inspired by our mindfulness learning:


Integration is critical to the Art program at FES.

Having colleagues that support this belief makes projects like these soar.


Our art vocabulary words for this unit are as follows:

Mark Rothko, labyrinth, mindfulness, color field painting


In BFA’s Art Room:

Students had focused on “Wow words” and texture rubbings.  Stations were set up with lots of choices for the students.  Embellishment was added to give the bookmarks extra “bling”.

Ms. Breen’s second grade class:


FES students sorting through the bookmarks from their BFA friends:


A “celebration in the way of a FaceTime conversation between classes took place on Tuesday, January 16th!

Students are always excited to see that their art can reach a wider audience.  It helps them understand that their work can easily be viewed both in the school hallway and across the globe. The word “audience” is no longer limited by someone’s ability to drive to a gallery or theater. There are many ways to share art.

The Global Goals we focused on were:

Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being

Goal 4: Quality Education

Goal 10: Reduce Inequality

Goal 16: Peace and Justice. Strong Institutions

The art standards were based on the National Visual Art Standards –

  1. Creating: conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work.
  2. Presenting: Interpreting and sharing artistic work.
  3. Responding: Understanding and evaluating how the arts convey meaning.
  4. Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.

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