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Lesson Plans

elementary museum ed. and prints, etc.

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mon, 15 Jan 1996 08:53:07 -0500

While I agree that there is nothing like seeing a real work of
art......I also suffer from not being able to get the kids (K-6) to museums
easily. I agree with Tom about creative use of resources, but have also
suffered from the kids being very confused about "pictures of pictures" or
photographs of pictures, a.k.a. prints. As much as time allows in the time
gap we use (40 min.) I try to introduce a variety of reproduction methods
including prints (mostly), I have the National Gallery laser disc, slides,
filmstripsk, videos, etc. By the time I get the kids through 6th grade, they
have been exposed to a variety.
Knowing that nothing beats the real thing, I have always taught on the
premise that kids are young artists. We have good local artists in our
community. I have invited them to hang their works in our school lobby as
part of the kids' art show. They love it because it gives their work
exposure, makes art real, and the kids can talk to the older artists. We
have also celebrated youth art month by having several artists display their
ware in the gymnasium and talk to the kids (and yes, I get very inappropriate
at times, we built an "pointillism painting" of cupcakes on the gym
floor....I feel like I'm going to confession with this one). This kind of
live artist event takes a good bit of work and so even with parent help, it
only gets done every other year or so.
Most important, however, is that I have built on the classroom teachers'
interests and by combining some of the art program with their work, I now
have them planning their one or two a year only field trips to art museums!
Our third graders go to the Florence Griswold house in CT (my state) and it
is phenomenal. They end the day painting on site in her gardens. I go with
paints, etc. and we focus on the experience of the light, etc.. I have
gotten one local artist to come in and paint in our courtyard...
My fourth graders now go to the Wadsworth Atheneum when they visit the
state capitol. We do some prep work before hand and a good follow through!
I'm in the process of getting the sixth graders to the Yale Gallery
which offers wonderful ancient art as well as gorgeous contemporary and
cultural stuff, and my final project will be to get the fifth graders to the
American Art Museum we have in another town in state. This is achieved by
making art important to the total curriculum and learning experience, but not
sacrificing to doing "projects" that correspond to units of study.

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