This Is the Future – Using the Arts to Look Ahead

Magical Place in Space

What does the world need? What would make the world better? What do you hope for in the future? What do you want the future to look like? Feel like? Sound like?

THE PROJECT:  Multi-arts performance.

K-2 students at Lyon School in Glenview, IL answered these questions, which created a framework for learning in all of their arts classes for the fall, culminating in the school’s annual winter show – a performance of Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Art.  

The Fine Arts Team used a Design Thinking model to navigate the process of unravelling students’ collective vision for the future. After asking these questions, students discovered how other artists had approached the same line of inquiry.  

As a group of 450 students we used our own interpretations of the future to help us Ideate for what the winter show set should look like.  From all of our ideas we created a Plan to create an abstract landscape.  Lyon artists experimented with different types paper to discover textures that might work for the different sections of our “futurescape.” They Created the paper relief over a one-week period, each class adding on to what the previous class had completed.

Students had to narrow their thoughts down to 3 aspects of their vision:  

Kindergarten – The future has the things we need.  

First grade – The future has good feelings.

Second grade – The future is anything we can imagine.  

Students brainstormed songs which shared their message and created movement and dramas to further illustrate their message.  The winter show, “A Magical Place in Space: this is the future,” was held together by 3 poems compiled completely by students’ answers to the original questions.  They presented their vision of their future using all of the fine arts.

Poems are located under the Messages Awaiting Art tab.

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