Edgar Allan Poe: "The Raven" Artistic Activity- Sculpture Sessions

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From Electric English...
This is an at home or in class project that asks students to make a sculpture of the raven from Poe's poem of the same name. What is interesting about this, beyond the obvious, is that I have instructed the students to only use recycled or found material to create their interpretations. No buying allowed!!

After completion, the students will give a one/two minute presentation on their process, inspirations, and strategies. If you do not have time for the presentations, they can be skipped, but I would not recommend it. Explaining their ideas and connections with the text are what make the assignment so relevant. If you feel that your class sizes are prohibitive to this; then my suggestion is to only pick certain students to present. These students will be randomly chosen by you on the day of; they will not know who is going to be called, and who is not. Tell them this ahead of time, so they are forewarned and forearmed. The suspense will keep them on their toes. The audience can be given participation points for the day in lieu of presentation points. Assign the students a certain amount of time to create their piece and get ready for an interesting presentation day. If you really stick to the two minutes or under rule, you can get it done in a day.

I have done this project several times, and I have to say, "I love it!" Providing the kids with artistic outlets in English is such an exciting way for you to teach and for the kids to learn. Also, the discussions that are inspired by these types of activities never cease to amaze me.

NOTE: Depending on the commitment level of the class, or what you know your students are capable of achieving on their own, this activity can certainly be completed in the classroom. If so, you would provide the items and materials and let the students scavenge from whatever you might have available. (I am always collecting junk and scraps that I keep in a trunk for just such purposes :) This project does tend to work better as an at home activity though; this forces the students to think for themselves and really get creative with their ideas. Plus, you don't always have as much spare stuff as you would need. And!! Be for warned, should you choose to do this in school, your classroom will look like an art bomb went off by the end of the day. Some of the kids will help you clean up though, and I will say; it's lots of fun for all involved. That being said, it's not a classroom environment that everyone would enjoy, so do what works best for you.
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1
Answer Key
Does Not Apply
Teaching Duration
1 Week

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Edgar Allan Poe: "The Raven" Artistic Activity- Sculpture
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