RAFT was founded on the idea that extra materials should not be wasted, and instead, should be used to help children explore their creative abilities while learning. Many teachers use RAFT’s recycled materials to help solidify this idea – creating lesson plans that meet state standards, while engaging students in fun and inspiring ways.
Michele Guieu teaches art at the Montalvo Arts Center and specializes in multi-cultural and multi-media art. Michele pulls inspiration from her childhood in France and travels through Africa, giving her a unique view into societal influences such as global and environmental issues. Michele shapes these issues into meaningful pieces of art – through video, painting, photography, and elaborate installations.
“In my art and through my teaching I am sharing my views and concerns about environmental issues. I engage the public and my young students to reflect, collaborate and create,” says Michele. Michele’s passion for the environment has been the driving factor for teaching her students with recycled materials.
Michele recently teamed up with RAFT to incorporate recycled and upcycled material into her art workshops for both children and teachers:
“This particular workshop, “Making a Toy From Recycled Material,” is about learning how to use one object to make another one. We as a society use a lot of things only once. For a lot of people around the world that is not the case. What if we had to recycle our materials to make other objects? Many children around the world cannot buy toys at the store and are making toys from recycled material. It is something children in our country were doing a long time ago (Native Americans and early settlers).”
Michele's workshops are also aligned with Common Core State standards 3-5-ETS1 Engineering Design and 5th grade-ESS3.A Natural Resources.
If you would like to see more of Michele’s art and lesson plans, please visit her blog.