During my Practicum at Rowan University, we worked on an 8 week unit featuring the One Million Bones Event! For those of you who are not familiar, The One Million Bones Project is a large social arts practice. It is a mixture of art making skills, current events, and public installations to raise awareness of ongoing genocides and atrocities in Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma.
There have been 1,000,000 bones made out of various materials such as clay and paper ache, for a three day installation event at the National Mall in Washington D.C. This event took place on June 8-10, 2013. The installation used art to represent and honor victims and survivors, and to serve as a visual petition against ongoing conflicts.
For more information on the project itself, you can click here.
We worked on this assignment with grades 9-12 art students. During the 8 weeks, this is a general idea of how the individual lessons were broken up.
Week 1: We introduced The One Million Bones Project. We showed students the website, we asked how art relates and can connect itself to the real world.
Week 2: We began discussing and teaching the a Social Studies integrated lesson featuring the events and happenings in places such as Sudan, South Sudan, etc. We had students complete activities such as Venn Diagrams in groups, formally answering questions, etc.
Week 3: We discussed the importance of symbolism in art and how art can be used to represent something that means so much more. We broke down the One Million Bones Project and also looked at various examples of historical paintings in art history. Students identified symbols and any hidden meanings behind each painting.
Week 4-7: Students spent this time working on their own ceramic bones. We cut out life size diagrams of skeletons. Students worked in groups and used a marker to check off each bone as it was completed.
Week 8: We wrapped up our post assessments to track student data and see the student growth.
** Reminder: This was for a Practicum class so we did not meet with these students everyday, but rather once a week. Altogether, this took up about eight full classes.