“I was inside a dragon!!!” said a grade 6 boy in rapturous tone after securing the belly of the beast with gaffer tape.  I was invited by Anna Malin an inspiring Art Teacher at Caulfield Grammar to design something spectacular for the Atrium entrance of the Wheelers Hill Campus.  After consultation with Grade 5 and 6 kids we came up with the idea of large hanging sculptures. The kids were interested in representing their school and thought a reference to their campus in Nanjing with dragons or a pheonix would be exciting. We used cane to construct the ‘exo-skeletons’. The students were incredibly engaged in the process and approached the project  as if they were building a skyscraper, they had incredible focus and commitment on teamwork and problem solving.

The project involved students from grades 3-6 working in tandem in the classroom and attracted many visitors from the entire school staff. We worked from the students’ drawings to make a Mama dragon (10 metres), a pheonix (5 m) and a baby dragon (4 m). Our initial plan was to skin the structures but after completing the cane work we were so in love with the look of the cane we decided to leave them bare to show the beauty of the armature. I can’t wait till the next project at this school as they really embraced the learning involved in the process and celebrated the outcome.

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