The Cosmos project is a sixth-grade poetry and art project that combines art and poetic verse. After completing the unit on Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me, sixth graders begin creating their poems. When You Reach Me is a story about friendship, mystery, and the potential for tragedy – but it's about so much more, including all the ways that love can transcend time & space to reach us no matter where we might be.
Throughout the project, students pull lines that excite them or make them curious about the galaxy. They explore the James Webb Telescope website, listen to Carl Sagan marvel about our Pale Blue Dot, and delve into the world of NASA to explore the musings of astronauts about far-off universes and planets. These pulled lines center around one topic related to the universe. This year's gallery showcased topics such as planets compared to wild ice cream flavors, Pluto’s sad lament at being cast out of the solar system, and an alien's letter of respect to humanity, despite having crashed at the infamous Roswell site. Topics were more unique than ever!
Students centered their poems as the focal point of a unique art piece. Students could use any medium they wished from painting, to sculpture, to paper mache! The point was to have some fun while exploring what might work best to express the tone of their poem & hit all of the assignment requirements. Sixth graders then partnered with their STEAM teacher, Noelle Walters, who came to English class to teach them how to make a light circuit! With her expertise, students independently added LED lights to their artwork.
On the day of the gallery, our cosmic explorers draped the room in darkness, distributed Starbursts for fun, and invited visitors from the Lincoln community to celebrate all things cosmic and to explore the wonders of the universe together.