The nature of Japanese Ceramic
This collection, based of the exhibition "Imperfectly Beautiful: Inventing Japanese Ceramic Style" is integrated in a unit on Francis Ponge’s collection of poems called The nature of things, 1942, France. In his poems, Ponge has a unique way of focusing on everyday life objects and symbols that he describes in very tiny details. The goal is to explore how Ponge’s perception of objects and symbols can be used as an entry point for an exploration of key components of other cultures. This collection is an opportunity for the students to understand how micro perspectives can lead to global and intercultural understanding.
The collection represents tea pots used for the Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu). Through slow looking techniques, students explore them and write poems using the thinking routine "Creative Comparison".
Step 1: choose one of the tea pot and sketch it
Step 2: Pair and Share - Explain your choice. What did you notice? what do you notice in your classmate's choice/object?
Step 3: Creative Comparison
The thinking routine " Creative comparison" encourages metaphorical thinking – central to the work of any artist and to creative thinking in any discipline. Metaphors provoke our imaginations to create comparisons between dissimilar things, often leading to deeper and richer understanding of each." (PZ)
Step 4: Pair and Share (with someone else) - Explain your choice. What did you notice? what do you notice in your classmate's choice/object?
Step 5 : read the description of the exhibition and the caption. Answer the questions:
- In what way this new information influences your interpretation?
- What does it confirm? What new ideas do you have?
- What could you do to integrate them in your poem?
Step 6 : write a poem, using Francis Ponge's approach to objects.
Ask the students to reflect on ways to curate their poems, using the thinking routine "Layers".
For instance, my students decided to do a a pop-up exhibition. They turned their poems into bilingual bookmarks for the school fair. It was a good opportunity for us to talk about translation.
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