Fine Tuning – STEAM Lesson Inspired by Nathalie Miebach


So last year, I was lucky enough to attend the MAEA conference in Boston, where Nathalie Miebach was the keynote speaker.  I learned about her work a bit earlier in the year while taking a Contemporary Art class with Lois Hetland at the EDCO Collaborative in Bedford, MA.

After the keynote, it was obvious I needed to develop a unit inspired by the woven sculptures she creates using a variety of scientific data.  If you are not familiar with her work, I suggest you check out her Ted Talk! I actually use this video in my introduction to this unit with my fourth graders.

So, this unit has required lots of trouble-shooting along the way….I don’t think it’s quite ready to be shared out, as I still need to fine tune how I manage my students data collection, but I think I’m getting there.  I’ll be teaching it again soon when my next group of fourth graders come to extra art at the end of this month, so I’m thinking some time in January I will be able to share the steps, tips, and finished photographs!

For now, check out how hard my students have been working by viewing the in-process photographs below. They are using weather data stored on our class iPads, and weaving their pouch based on the color they’ve assigned for a particular data range (typically temperature related).

Conferences & Presentations Galore! – MassCUE & MAEA2015


I guess I was really into submitting proposals last winter/spring, because I ended up having two conferences to present at this fall – MassCUE at Gillette Stadium, and MAEA2015 in North Adams, MA.

At MassCue I presented about all the ways I am integrating technology into my elementary art classroom, using the SAMR model of technology integration. You can check out the full Prezi here and access all of my resources (which include links to all of the apps I use, and any digital materials I have to share)


Some of the projects and technology I shared:

  • Using Chrome bookmarks to make it possible to access weather data on all of my iPads easily for a weaving
  • Using Chatterpix app to creating talking drawings in connection to a biography portrait unit & self portrait unit
  • Using Explain Everything app to explore artwork in grades 1, 2, and 3 like a mini interactive whiteboard
  • Using iMovie to create interview videos that reflect on art practice
  • Using Explain Everything to create informative videos that share how to do a particular art technique

At the MAEA conference I presented in more detail how I create stop motion animations with my grade 6 students, and as a collaborative project with some of my grade 3 & 4 students. My attendees were even able to do some animating! You can check out the full Prezi here and access all of my resources (which include all of the videos and worksheets I use when teaching stop motion animation)


When teaching stop motion animation I use two videos from PBS Learning Media, which are linked in the resource document above.  If you haven’t checked out PBS Learning Media they have many really great art video resources, I definitely love this free resource. I also use a collection of tutorial videos and ‘secret recipe sheets’ from Animation Chefs (also linked above).

Check out some of the animations that were made in the short time we had to animate.