Casi Hamilton | Oxford High School | Oxford, Kansas
Casi Hamilton describes how she incorporated rain sticks into an all-ages curriculum for art and other classes.
Hi. I’m Casey Hamilton and I am a K-12 art instructor. I’m going to talk to you about how I use rain sticks, across grade levels, kindergarten through seniors. I started using rain sticks originally as a classroom management tool. This was my first rain stick, and I use it as my quiet signal. So, whenever I’m transitioning between steps in projects with elementary art students, I use my rain stick rather than flipping my lights, clapping my hands, doing a handstand, whatever it is you have to do to get your kids to be quiet and listen. Then, I made this huge rain stick, out of a tube that we received some broom handles in, and I was inspired by the work of Henri Matisse, a French artist who used paper cutouts to create images with organic shapes. So, I started creating art history inspired rain sticks. Which led me to use rain sticks as a high school art history assignment. So, using different poster tubes, even toilet paper tubes, we get tubes from a t-shirt company in our town, we created images on our rain sticks inspired by different artists, and art movements. This rain stick is inspired by the work of Roy Lichtenstein, and it was created by a high school junior. This rain stick was inspired by the work of Rothko, and it was created by a sophomore. This rain stick was inspired by the work of Miro, and it was created by a junior. This is our Van Gogh, rain stick created by a junior, as well. As you could hear each rain stick has a unique sound, depending on nail placement, and whatever materials you put inside to rattle against the nails. So, once the students completed their design on the outside of their rain sticks, they strategically put nails through the sides, and then filled them with beads of different sizes and shapes, depending on the sound they wanted to get. The smaller the item the higher the sound, the larger the item the lower the sound. Some history on the rain stick, historians don’t really know for sure where it originated, but there have been rains to expound made out of tubes from dried cactus, in Chile in South America.