Statement of Inquiry – Innovative typography can enhance the communication and exploration of creators’ perspective within their personal narratives.

One Sunday afternoon on a cold Beijing day the Language Acquisition teacher and I got to planning our first IDU for the year that would be completely integrated and assessed. Our starting point was going to be ‘6 words stories represented through Typography’

If you not sure what six word stories are check out this article which is a great introduction and some interesting points about how 6 words stories are reemerging and trending on online platforms such as Reddit and Tumblr.

That afternoon we shared our passions and knowledge of education literature, art and design. What we ended with was this combined 6 word story in type packet (LA phase 3) for students that would be carried between Visual Art and Language Acquisition classes so even when timetables didn’t allow they would still have all the planning with them.

Deeply personal memories, hopes, dreams and thoughts came out of our grade 7’s. I felt honoured to be able to support them in the process of visualising these and I know the Language Acquisition teacher had similar experiences. Once the stories were written we looked closely at a couple of Typographers including Gemma O’brien and Lauren Stewart. Lauren happened to be a friend of mine so we were able to Skype interview her. Our EAL students drafted questions to ask her about Typography, where she gets her ideas from, how long does it take etc.

Enjoy the examples of final artwork by our author-typographers… I like to think they have experienced what real-world creatives are doing. Writing their own work, illustrating their own work… next time I would like to have them publish to the world so we can reach a wider audience.


Statement of Inquiry – poetry that uses text and image communicates more meaning & messages to its audience

This IDU kicked off after a Language A teacher had sought out some advice from me on how to construct a “black out poem” and what materials he would need. “Let’s do this together!” I said. It became one of those organic “hallway” collaborations that ended in some wonderful results. Find the packet here: black out poetry art packet.

Although I arrived a little late to the collaboration we made the foundation for a full interdisciplinary unit to teach the following year.

We used the MYP IDU marking criteria to assess and we found these reflection questions were particularly powerful in assessing Criteria D: Reflecting  on himself or herself as a disciplinary and interdisciplinary learner and the benefits of disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge in specific situations.

  • Imagine creating a black out poem in English class without using Visual Art materials or the help of the Visual Arts teacher. What would be different?
  • Explain the benefits of your English class and the Art class combining (what has been special about this project?)

These answers really highlight the benefits for the students and the teachers, this is why we do IDU’s, why they are so valuable and fun!

And here are some of the final works:

What do you think? Have they communicate the meaning more strongly by combining text and image.