Age group

10-12 years

Primary CMS area

Area 1. Personal effectiveness

Other CMS areas

Area 2 – Managing relationships
Area 5 – understanding the world

Unit Description

This unit is about:
  • Think about their identity in terms of aspects that make up their own way of being
  • compare their representation with that of their classmates to collect similarities and differences, recognize the uniqueness and diversity of their characteristics
  • talk about themselves to describe important events and / or actions and begin to understand the important role that events have in conditioning their projects.
  • recognize the essential elements of an artwork to understand its meaning.
  • create a representation of themselves through what has belonged to them. Use of belongings to represent who they are and what they have become
  • Understand that a project involves several steps for its realization.

Learning outcomes

Specific objectives: –
  • Discover Cornell, an artist who, despite never having moved from his city, knew how to travel, overcoming the limits of space and time.
  • talk about themselves, telling moments of their life through the mediation of an object
  • listen to the others, learn turn-taking and discuss the topic
  • organise activities taking into account the necessary information, times and available resources.
  • recognise the strengths and weaknesses in their behaviour, in the learning procedures implemented, in their choices, modifying them if necessary
  • discover the world of work through the knowledge of the profession that they would like to do in the future
  • understand the organization of the Italian school system to reflect on the importance of study paths in order to achieve their projects

Activity Name



Introduction of the activity through a conversation focused on the meaning of the phrase “EVERY BOX IS AN EMPTY SPACE TO FILL WITH SOMETHING”
Analysis of some of Cornell’s artworks to understand his inner world of emotions, his stories and journeys.

Collection of significant objects from the first years of their lives to the present (games, clothes, pine cones, shells, stones, milk teeth …) with the possibility of including even secrets that they can decide whether to reveal or not.

Choice of the box or boxes (also of different materials: cardboard, transparent plastic, metal, …) organisation of the box; oral presentation of their box (every pupil presents their box to their classmates)

Activity Name



The teacher invites students to imagine themselves in the future and ask questions about how they see themselves.

He/she asks student to draw and/or collect pictures of what they want to become when they grow up. The collected material will be placed in a box (one for each student; the boxes must all be the same). 

Once set up, the boxes are placed, in random order, in the centre of the room. The pupils sit in a circle around them. 

Each pupil, in turn, takes one of the boxes and describes the contents to their classmates. They have to guess the profession represented and the name of the boy/girl who created the box.

Activity Name



The teacher organises a number of identical boxes (1 for each pupil); each box includes tools regarding a profession:

  • Tools
  • Uniform or work clothes
  • Educational path
  • Place where the activity is carried out

The pupils form teams (the number of teams depend on the number of pupils)

Each team chooses an equal number of boxes

Each team, in turn, opens one of the chosen boxes, describes the contents and tries to guess the profession represented. If the team does not guess, they can hand the box over to another team. The team will have to try to guess. If this team guesses the profession they get a point, if they don’t, they lose a point.

The team with the most points wins the game


Exercise book, pen, pencil
pictures of artworks by Cornell
bibliography of the artist
pictures, objects, photos … found at home or at school.
cardboard, metal, plastic boxes
set of identical boxes


  • Activity 1: to analyse the Cornell’s artwork: 1 hour (art lesson); 10 minutes to set up the boxes; 1 hour (about 3 minutes for each pupil) for the oral presentation
  • Activity 2: the drawings and the collection of pictures will be assigned as homework; for the activity in group 1 hour and a half.
  • Activity 3: maximum 1 hour

Role of the Teachers

The teacher gives directions and explanations, helps the pupils acting as facilitator, guides the discussion making them reflect and understand.


Class participation
Text teaching
Lab teaching
Teaching through play


Discover Cornell , an artist who, despite never having moved from his city, knew how to travel, overcoming the limits of space and time. Multiple choices about life and artworks by the artist

talk about themselves , telling moments of their life through the mediation of an object. Observation sheets about: organisation and coherence of communication also with regards to their chosen object.

listen to the others, learn turn-taking and discuss the topic. Observation sheets about turn taking and discussion