Olive Room Underwater Adventure
In the beginning of the school year in Art class, the Olive Room students learned about a creative little bunny who likes to turn regular old cardboard boxes into race cars, rocket ships, and hot air balloon rides! Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis, inspired the Olive Room students to transform a simple rectangle into something spectacular by drawing.
Then we decided to take the idea one step further… We wanted to show the Olive Room students that a classroom is just a classroom, unless it’s actually a space that is full of possibilities! Olive Room students have spent the last few months transforming what used to be a bulletin board and a small curriculum library in the Art Room, into an underwater adventure complete with waves, rocks, a coral reef, hidden treasure, and whole slew of sea creatures!
We even created a giant octopus for their performance of Octopus Garden in the Winter Concert!
Over the last few weeks Olive Room students have been practicing their cooperation skills to create one more giant sea creature, which was recently installed in the underwater adventure corner of the Art Room.
Each student decided which parts they wanted to add to an abstract sea creature shape, such as tentacles, lightning bolts, sunglasses, bow ties, and of course, a magic belt. Then they worked together as a team to decorate the sea creature with gems, jewels, pom-poms, and paint. Later, as part of a “Mad Libs” style, collaborative storytelling activity, the Olive Room students created a story about their sea creature and decided what to call it, where it lives, what it eats, who it hangs out with, and what it does for fun! (Click here for the Story of the Olive Room Cooperation Sea Creature!)
By transforming the Art Room together with students, our goal has been to stir up a little imagination and instill students with a sense of ownership in the space. Hopefully every time they enter the Art Room, they can see a little piece of themselves in what they made.
In February, we brought a little more magic to the underwater adventure with a special guest! Kristen Favorito is a scuba diving instructor in St. Croix and we were able to have a video chat with her right from her dive shop!
She also put together a short presentation for the Olive Room students that was all about the cool sea creatures that she gets to interact with every day. Olive Room students prepared questions for Kristen like, “What do you do in the ocean?” “Are the sea creatures your friends?” and “Have you ever seen an underwater bat cave?” (She has!)
Our video chat with Kristen was like going on a field trip from right inside the Art Room, and it really brought the underwater adventure to life for the Olive Room students. We’re looking forward to continuing on our adventure by talking to students about how they can take care of our oceans and the sea creatures who live there. In the coming weeks, we will be learning how artists are helping to REDUCE the amount of plastic in our oceans, REUSING interesting materials, and RECYCLING them into amazing art! We want to continue to encourage students to feel like the Art Room is a space where they can make anything happen!