Empty Bowls Project

Empty Bowls Project

Milton Somers Middle School, Shawn Watters & Rick Ivanac's art classes, Charles County, www.ccboe.com/somers

After a lesson on hunger in our world, students worked in year long art classes to produce ceramic bowls for the "Empty Bowls Dinner Night." The dinner allowed guests to choose a bowl to keep as a reminder that there are always Empty Bowls in the world. Proceeds of the dinner (100% donated by Outback Steakhouse) were donated to the American Red Cross.

Best Practice 1: What recognized community need was met by your project (e.g. health, education, environmental or public safety need)?
We researched the issue of hunger and had class discussions that led us to design a project to help students and other people suffering from hunger throughout the entire world. We collaborated with the American Red Cross Association. This activity included both an education and health component.

Best Practice 2: How was the project connected to school curriculum (e.g. what course outcomes were met and/or how did the project reinforce or enhance student academic learning)?
Students were introduced to real world and culture connections in relation to their artistic inspiration. Students used the elements and principles of design to create an aesthetically pleasing art piece. This project also helped address some of the 7th grade indicators in the MSDE Voluntary State Curriculum (VSC).

Best Practice 3: How did you reflect on your experience throughout the project?
Students were asked to write a letter to each bowl recipient explaining what they had learned and experienced throughout the process and thank them for their donation. Some letters were read aloud at the event.

Best Practice 4: How did students take leadership roles and take responsibility for the success of the project?
Students helped organize, set up, and worked at the event. The letters they wrote to bowl recipients instilled a sense of ownership and pride in their accomplishments.

Best Practice 5: What community partners did you work with on this project (e.g. non-profits, civic organizations, business that provided donations, etc.)?
Outback Steakhouse donated food (100%)
American Red Cross

Best Practice 6: How did you prepare and plan ahead for the project
We conducted research on world hunger in a variety of ways including visiting www.emptybowls.org. Students then created/built the bowls to be auctioned. Students also chose an organization to which they would donate funds raised.

Best Practice 7: What knowledge and skills did students develop through this project?
Students utilized art as a means to make a real-world connection to the issue of hunger.
Students developed an understanding of issues in the world around them and created a process for assisting in the effort to address one of the issues.
Students developed a project idea and followed through to create and run an event for the public.
Students developed skills in creating art work the public.
Students demonstrated positive team work.