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Re: writing & art & literacy


From: Sandy Bacon (sbacon_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Dec 08 2002 - 20:00:01 PST

>>Can we start a thread on the connection between art
>>& writing? I find myself
>>constantly asking teachers to provide written work
>>so we can collaborate.
As I mentioned in a previous e-mail, I started an Artful Reading class
last year with a class of third graders that I had been assigned to
tutor to help improve proficiency scores. I told my principal that I
would, but it had to be related to art. The Columbus Museum of Art has a
wonderful program called Artful Reading. The children visit the museum
after having had a docent come to the school and discuss what the
program and chosen art is about, or you use the prepartion packet
yourself. There they "read" particular pieces of art and answer and ask
some very thought provoking questions about the art and artist. I insist
that they use their artist's eyes to look at the work and use proper
artist's vocabulary (elements and principles) to describe the piece, in
addition to their emotional response.

After seeing several different examples and discussing them with the
docent, you travel to the Columbus Metropolitan Library, where we do the
exact opposite. Our librarian must have pulled 15 - 20 assorted versions
of the Three Little Pigs. Discussing the use of pictures to bring the
words to life, age appropriate book, feeling, etc. The kids were then
given three pieces of different colored paper and a glue stick and asked
to illustrate one scene from the book without using scissors, crayons,
pencils, etc. These were amazing!

We repeated this process in the classroom. They wrote about what art
meant to them in poetic form. They also did research papers on the
dinosaurs found in Wyoming and chose the Stegasaurus skeleton to
reproduce in clay.

I don't know how much their scores improved, but I don't think the kids
will ever forget that class. It gave them an opportunity to see me in a
different light, also. I really enjoyed it.