Week 5: Castles and Assemblage

Today, the students pretended to time travel to the Middle Ages with kings, queens, princes and princesses’. The students were taught the technique of “assemblage” or as the students pronounced it, “assem-ba-logee”. Using this technique and their imaginations, the students glued materials like foam, jewels and fabrics onto a piece of cardboard to build their own castles.

Stephanie shows the students pictures of castles.

Stephanie shows the students an example of the castle she made using assemblage.

Some students began by cutting out the initial shape of their castle while others glued textured paper to their cardboard.

Each student took a different approach to building his or her castle. The biggest challenge for the students was using only the assemblage materials provided. This encouraged the students to work more three-dimensionally. (Two-dimensional work would be considered collage, which the students applied in an earlier lesson.) Without the ability to simply draw a castle, the students had to critically think about how they would construct a castle and then apply the technique to their piece.

A student glues jewels to her castle. When asked about her castle, the student replied, "It is a diamond kingdom and it's raining diamonds. They all celebrate one special diamond, the red star."

When asked about her castle, this students replied, "I'm just making it wacky so people say, 'I don't want to go in that! It looks weird and wacky!' And then the castle will be safe."

This student described his castle saying, "The jewels represent the relatives and the red star represents the king. Everybody loves the king so they made him a castle. Since the king is on the top with the yellow, he is the best of all."

Whether they were making a “diamond kingdom” or a “wacky castle”, the students were engaged with the variety of materials and the new technique.

Stephanie helps one students draw a knight to guard her diamond kingdom.

This student explained to those at her table that,"Castles aren't very safe because people can see the princess."

In reaction to her table-mates advice that castles aren't safe if you can see the princess, this student's "Diamond Kingdom" castle "has a secret passageway that is a tunnel that no one else can see and a knight in the boat to guard the castle."

When students finished their castles, they were challenged to build their castle using wooden blocks. Many of the students decided to build castles together and combine aspects of their individual assemblage castles.

After all the materials were put away and the classroom was clean, Stephanie gathered all the students on the rug for a discussion and reflection about they day’s work. Each student took a turn talking about one “cool thing” about their castle.

One students tells the others about her castle and aspects that make it unique to her. One student stated, "I wrote my name on my castle so people know I'm the king!"

Another day of successful time travel took the students to medieval times! Where will they travel next?

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