Statues is a low-to-medium risk image work activity in which students quickly shape their own bodies individually and independently to create a frozen “statue” that represents a person, feeling, or idea. This activity uses limited space and it is a great way for students to practice how to shape their bodies to represent their thinking and understanding.
Invite students to find their own space in the room with a set perimeter. (This can also be done seated, though standing with space is preferable.) Introduce the activity: In a moment I will give you a word/theme/character to explore. Your job is to create a frozen statue that represents your response. Encourage students to use their whole bodies including their faces. Offer the prompt. For example: Make a statue of one character you remember from our story. Or, Make a statue that shows how we use measurement to do something. Give students a moment to think, then count backwards from five or ten to one while they create their images. Once statues are made, choose a way to look at the images. For young players try quickly, calling out what you see their bodies doing I see arms wide open. I see big smiles on faces. And then let all students relax. For older students, ask half the group to relax and half the group to hold their statues and take time to look at and interpret the statues with the other half of the group; then switch. For all students it can be also be useful to single out a particularly effective statue or two to remain frozen while others relax, to invite and focus further interpretation and discussion.
- What sort of statues did we make?
- How did we use our bodies to represent the idea we were working on today? How did it feel to take on that pose in your body?
- What did we discover about our inquiry through this activity?
- What position best represents what you wish to express?
- Remember to use your face when you are in your statue. Try to use your whole body! Arms, fingers, head.
- Reading/Writing: Create a sculpture of a character at a specific moment in a story, or of a feeling or action in a story.
- Math: Create a statue that represents opinions about math or a mathematical vocabulary: parallel lines, triangle, acute angle.
- Science: Create a statue that represents a scientific concept or term.
- Social Studies: Create a statue that represents a moment, concept or person from history.