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Melissa Maccini


Art 135

March 30, 2017


A souvenir is defined as a memento that we take with us to remind us of a places we have

been, events we have attended, or people we have met. On every corner and in between at any

tourist attraction, souvenirs are available in all sizes and prices to help remind us of our visit.

Hawaii has leis and lotions, Tahoe has sweatshirts and small wood carvings, and Washington

D.C. has mini monuments and campaign buttons. Go to a concert to hear a band and there will be

t-shirts, key chains, and posters to take home as a reminder of the good music. Attending a

favorite cousins wedding this weekend? Lots of pictures of the bride and a little silk bag of

Jordan Almonds will be a memento of the occasion.

I do not have to go further than my family home in Sacramento to see how souvenirs and

mementos of previous places lived and visited migrate into peoples homes. My parents are both

influenced by where they grew up and the culture of their family home. One step inside and you

can forget you are in Sacramento. The paintings, decorations, and style all scream Italy with a

touch of my moms southern heritage. I am guessing not every home has a Coca-Cola bottle

collection, but Coke and my mom share a birthplace so yes, we have Coke souvenirs. The Italian

influence is from my dad whose father was born in Parma, Italy. My father spent some childhood

summers there so we are an Italian family. I love living in Sacramento because there is so much

evidence of cultures coming together and that is why I chose to do my Souvenir Studio

Investigation on Parma because it is in the heart of my Sacramento home. You also find the
Emilio Region of Italy influence in the Sacramento valley. For example, tomatoes are a major

crop in Sacramento and my family in Parma sell food processing equipment to the canneries in

this valley to process their tomatoes into products like sauce and ketchup. Yes, my family also

has a Italian Murano glass tomato souvenir in our living room. As suggested in the investigation,

I am sculpting and using Amaco clay combined with some wood from a Sacramento tree. The

colors will be bright and will represent my Sacramento family culture and the memories we

share of Italy. I will create a piece that can be a souvenir of my family home and I can take it as a

reminder of a very special place in Sacramento.

Making a souvenir of places, events, or people that a high school student has experienced

is a creative way for them to reflect on who they are, where they have been, and even dream

about where they are going. Many of the high school and middle school students in Sacramento

area schools have not traveled outside of their neighborhood, so asking them to create souvenirs

of places they have been would be very challenging. For example, I recall being on a high school

bus trip for a college visit and a peer had never seen a cow and was surprised by the green hills

along the highway. A lesson plan that suggests creating souvenirs for socio-economically

challenged urban area would require some thinking outside of the box. Sacramento is a very

diverse area and many cultures and countries are represented in the city homes. The diversity

represented in the students homes would make for some interesting souvenirs to share. Students

could use materials like clay and wire to build a three dimensional souvenir of their home. The

souvenir could represent the culture, people, and/or events from their home. A bonus goal of this

project for high school students that will soon leave home for college, they have a souvenir to

take with them. If they are leaving Sacramento, having the students also had some piece in their

souvenir that represented Sacramento. They will always have a memento of the special people,
places, and events of their home. To include a standard from the Responding section of Visual

Arts, the students could share verbally or written reflection on their sculpture of why this was the

souvenir they chose to create.

A. National Core Arts Standards, Anchor Standards:

Visual Arts Creating
HS Proficient VA:Cr1.2.1a
Shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present day life using a
contemporary practice of art and design.
Visual Arts Responding
HS Proficient VA:Re7.2.1a
Analyze how ones understanding of the world is affected by experiencing
visual imagery.

B. California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Teaching Performance Expectations

TPE 1: Engaging and Supporting All Students in Learning
1. Apply knowledge of students, including their prior experiences, interests,
and social-emotional learning needs, as well as their funds of knowledge and
cultural, language, and socioeconomic backgrounds, to engage them in

3. Connect subject matter to real-life contexts and provide active learning

experiences to engage student interest, support student motivation, and
allow students to extend their learning.

TPE 2: Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments for Student Learning

2 Create learning environments that promote productive student learning, encourage positive interactions
among students, reflect diversity and multiple perspectives, and are culturally responsive.