My Third Grade students have been working on a mixed media collage with a bird theme. We looked at the art of Allison Strine. She is a Georgia artist. She's not really famous. From what I understand, she is a mom and lives a pretty normal life as a working artist. The kids loved looking at her work and can appreciate her humor. I like showing my students the work of current working artists. It's important for them to understand that not all artists are dead, lived in Europe, and lived eccentric lives. We spent a lot of time talking about symbols and how artists use them to tell a story. I wanted my students to use the birds as sort of a non traditional self portrait and although they don't look at all like them, this art could tell a story about them. I offered the kids a huge variety of materials to work with like newspaper, painted papers, magazines, fabric, scrapbook paper and buttons. I didn't give them to them all at once but offered a new material each week. They are turning out really quirky and fun and I love them.