The Leaf Inquiry is the "Introduction to Inquiry in Art" because it contains the basic inquiry steps that students will experience in all the inquiries--each inquiry will become increasingly deep and more complex . . . but the basic steps will remain the same. Those steps are:
- A memory drawing
- Observational sketches
- Compare/contrast activities exploring Same and Different
- A diagram drawing of the subject with labels
- More observational sketches, drawings and/or paintings
- Create a work of art
Below is a map of the leaf inquiry.
One purpose for keeping the steps the same is that by the end of the insect inquiry, students will hopefully begin to understand how they might be able to predict what they will do in the Bird Inquiry based on what they did in the Leaf and Insect Inquiries. The best of all worlds would be if students could then feel a sense of autonomy in their learning--that they will know how to structure their own investigations on any subject of their own choosing.
The final step of the Leaf Inquiry was a very open-ended drawing: using the art expectations established in the observational warm up, I asked students to draw any scene of their own choice using crayons with only one condition--that the drawing had to include at least one leaf.
Below: Students drawing their scenes with at least one leaf.