Making Art Together: A Class's Collaborative Art Experience
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This action research project explores the impact of a collaborative lesson on the behavior and relationships of students in a combined 3rd/4th grade class at St. Mary of the Lake School in Chicago. Students in this class exhibit immature behavior and unhealthy habits of relating to one another. The research aimed to discover the effects that working collaboratively might have on students’ behavior and relationships. Using principles of cooperative learning and community art, the researcher designed a collaborative lesson for a unit on symbolism. Students used bottle caps to create a large hanging mural of a class symbol. The results of this study support the results from other studies that indicate that cooperative learning can have positive effects on students’ relationships and motivation, but negative effects are also likely. The results also indicate that thorough planning and preparation is necessary for collaborative art lessons to be a success.