ESOL - Educational Services Overseas Limited

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Sleeping emoji in cutout paper

The ubiquity of emoji symbols in our popular culture is so undeniable, one even made it to Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2015: “face with tears of joy!” From ASCII emoticons in the 1980s to emoji keyboards on mobile phones, they now universally convey emotion in a text driven world. Originally meaning “pictograph,” the word emoji originates in Japanese: e (絵, "picture") + moji (湞礄, "character"). This year Grade 5 Art & Design students at ASB looked at emoji as a subject matter.  This unit of work provided them with an opportunity to develop an understanding of this 21st-century global language, paying close attention to emotion and color theory. Students explored a range of media and techniques from collage to ceramics, and many enjoyed the novel experience of sculpting with clay: “Using clay for the first time was a wonderful experience and helped develop my artistic skills in a new area,” remarked Dilnaz, one of the student artists. Most recently, students also embarked on an Adobe Illustrator outcome.