Our elementary art teachers are masterful at engaging students in expressing themselves through thoughtful and meaningful work. One example of this is a project that our fifth graders are working on. We are in the planning stages of a what a secondary school expansion might look like for ASD. The students are participating by creating designs that they would like to see included in the new building.
Some of the students are focusing on how artwork can enhance doorways. For example, one group of students came up with the idea of using a medieval landscape to illustrate the door leading to a room where history might be taught.
Beyond simple illustrations, however, students are also incorporating symbolism into their designs. I was so impressed with how a pair of boys wanted to represent what they feel is important at ASD, which is the USA and the UAE working together to make the world a friendlier place.
Their design uses two hands shaking with the flags of the two countries integrated into the outlines of the hands. An interesting feature is that they envision their design on double swinging doors with one hand and its accompanying flag placed on each door. As people use the doors and they swing back and forth, the hands will come together just as the two countries come together.
The hopes and aspirations of these students are just what we need more of in this world. Coming together in friendship.