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Don't Knock Wood

Collaborate with wood: Take a look at George Morrison's Collage IX at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, or click here to see a picture of the sculptural collage on the ArtsConnectEd Web site. As a class, make a collage using only wood and glue. Find scraps of wood at home or outside (like sticks and branches). Together, decide where the different pieces look best. Before gluing the pieces onto a plywood board, discuss your decisions. Consider if any revisions would make the work even better.  

Wood ConnectEd: At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, hundreds of art objects are made from wood or depict wood (for example, a painting that includes a wooden chair). Click here to visit the ArtsConnectEd Web site to make your own collection of artworks related to wood. Use the search engine filters to find art made of wood from different continents, countries, and cultures.  

Cut once, measure twice: Click here to watch a You Tube video of Mark Sfirri demonstrating how he makes multi-axis artworks. Then, create your own multi-axis artwork by cutting the tubes from toilet paper and paper towels at diagonals and piecing them together along new axes. If you make enough of them, arrange your multi-axis artworks into interesting combinations. What could you name your creation?  

The sound of wood: Borrow wooden musical instruments from a music teacher or bring them from home. If possible, compare the sounds of a wooden instrument to a plastic or metal one (e.g., xylophone to metallophone, wood block to cowbell, wooden drum to bass drum, wooden recorder to plastic recorder). What words could you use to describe the sounds made by wooden instruments? How do these compare with the sounds made by the metal or plastic instruments?  

Global wood: Wood is an important renewable resource around the world. Almost every culture has depended on wood for survival, using it for shelter, tools, and fuel. Using a blank world map, locate major forests around the world. Find out the primary type of trees found in each forest (such as pine, oak, cypress, or mahogany) and what is being done—or not done—to preserve this natural resource.  

Write about woods: Research poems about wood from a variety of countries and cultures. Then write a poem or haiku about wood, a tree, or a forest. Include words referring to wood, such as grain, whorl, branch, stick, trunk, carve, and cut.  

March 2012