How can I Use Art Spirals to Facilitate Learning?

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HowcanIUseArtSpiralstoFacilitateLearningWe have used different art and craft activities to promote learning in the classroom. Art spirals are the depiction of images or pictures on spiral pieces of paper. The art spiral activity can be introduced as an individual or group activity and can target skills like information processing (organizing, prioritizing and critical analysis of information), creativity and group participation.

Art spiral activity:

Provide students with pre-cut spiral paper patterns. Instruct them to write their answers or feedback inside the paper patterns.  Prepare the core question in advance. The questions can be related to a cause-effect relation of a concept, a timeline of events or even sequencing of information. Students can be encouraged to represent the information pictorially, as points or as short sentences.

Incorporating the activity:

An art spiral activity can be incorporated into your lectures in a variety of ways. It can be conducted as an opening activity, to recollect information taught in the previous class or as a closure activity, as it helps students summarize, organize and prioritize the key information taught during the lecture.

You can also use this activity in between lectures as a method of note taking, by providing students with paper patterns with marked areas of subtopics. For example, while teaching a topic on a specific body part, the spiral can be divided into different areas marked as structure or layers, function, and so on. During the lecture, once an area has been covered, students are given two to three minutes to note down the information within the respective areas. Furthermore, this activity can be used as a quick evaluation tool; to see how much information has been understood and retained by the students.

Ideas for art spiral activity:

Art spiral collage: It can be conducted as both an individual and group assignment. Questions that facilitate research and analytical thinking are framed and students are instructed to create an art spiral in the form of a collage using cutouts, pictures, and so on. Students are encouraged to present these collages to the rest of the class, following which a discussion can be initiated.  

Platform to voice out: Students are divided into groups and each group is allotted a question. The paper patterns are provided to each group and students are instructed to write down their thoughts and answers in separate areas of the paper. Once this is completed, these spirals are put up to be viewed by others and students can have a discussion on their different perspectives.

Art spiral jigsaw: This is a whole class activity that can be further broken down into groups. Students are given strips of paper (small parts of the whole spiral) with different information written on them. These strips can be color coded and students can be grouped together based on their specific color. Once within a group, they have to assemble their strips to form the part of their spiral. After each group has assembled their part of the spiral, they should collectively assemble their parts to form the entire spiral.

Discuss here: How did you use the art spiral activity in your classroom?

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