Window into the Classroom: Art at MIS

Teacher Feature: Loryn Zerr

What is the project that you are most proud of this year?

The project I am most proud of is one that I did with my middle school World Cultures class. They read various Native American origin stories, chose their favorite one, and illustrated a scene from it. These came out beautifully and I just loved their interpretations of the stories.  I’m also enjoying the project I’m currently doing with the 2/3 multiage in collaboration with their poetry unit.  For this I am reading a descriptive poem to the class while they quietly listen, then they are creating artworks of what they had visualized.

How do you incorporate STEAM into art class? 

I have incorporated STEAM in my projects by including Science into the Art. For example, in collaboration with the 2/3’s Simple Machines Unit, and after watching several Rube Goldberg machine videos, we made silhouettes of each of their profiles. Within these they used a minimum of four simple machines to show some kind of brain or head function, sneezing for example, where they connected the machines in Rube Goldberg fashion. This was fun and challenging as it got them to think of how simple machines work when drawing them and how to make them work together.

What new ideas are you bringing into your teaching from some professional development?

I have been thinking of how I present projects to be sure that they are Inquiry-based inspired by the workshop I took this last summer. The students always love art, but they become even more engaged with this type of approach where they are choosing their own subject matter to base their creations on. I think we (students and myself) find it even more rewarding!

As an artist yourself, what is your preferred medium?  Why haven’t we seen your artwork at a First  Friday event?

I work primarily in clay, but also do paintings and do work in mixed medium. I have a piece I’m working on now (in clay) that I’ll post a picture of when done 😉 .

Well, I had a piece in the juried ‘Woodfired in Montana’ show this last fall at The Clay Studio! I did a post on facebook about it and had postcards here and there, but maybe you missed them. I’m pretty busy so didn’t do a lot of self-promotion other than that. A lot people don’t make it over to the Clay Studio because it’s a little out of the way, but they always have great First Friday Shows, and they run later than most.

Anything you want to share or plug?

I’m hoping to dive into my art big time this summer and I have some ideas of things I want to make that I’m hoping to sell on Etsy… I’ll keep you posted!