I would like to tell you all about a wonderfully enriching art field trip
my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students just had. I don't intend to brag. I'm
hoping others would appreciate reading about what we did and respond with
examples of some of their own successful field trips, relating what made
On Friday I took all 39 of them to a local gallery to see a retrospective
exhibit of the artist/illustrator Etienne Delessert. The show was comprised
of mostly watercolor with colored pencil book and magazine illustrations
which were humorous fantasies with a lot of bright colors and exquisite and
realistic details. Samples of his books, illustrations, and large printed
posters were on display next to the original commissioned art works. There
were also many examples of his non-commissioned art work, usually paintings
done in oils and enamels.
In order to get the kids to actually look closely at each piece, I gave
them a scavenger hunt to do as soon as they arrived. It was a great
success! They worked in teams of two, which the classroom teachers helped
me set up to be sure there was at least one strong reader in each team.
Soon after they completed writing the answers to the scavenger hunt, the
artist spoke to them as a group for a few minutes. He went over the
scavenger hunt and then he answered their questions, which were so much
more interesting and specific because they had just been closely studying
the actual art works.
Very dominant in the show was a series of huge abstract paintings of
grotesque heads called THE PROPHETS AND THE PRETENDERS. I wanted the
students to feel more comfortable with these difficult paintings, so as a
culminating exercise I asked them each to write the first word that came to
mind as they saw the series. To develop a better understanding of the
artist's work and our reactions to it, in class we will discuss the
associative words, then use the words to make a free-form non-rhyming poem
about the series of paintings. I'll forward it to the artist to thank him
for sharing his time, thoughts, and art with us.
As I was passing out the papers on which they were to write their words,
imagine my chagrin when I noticed I had spelled PROFITS instead of PROPHETS
! The spell checker let it go, of course, and my proof reading had missed
it. Recent posts (even my own) have discussed the importance, or lack of
it, of good spelling. At that point it was too late to fix it, so I
announced I'd made a mistake in spelling and asked them to find it. Their
reward for finding the misspelled word was that they could stay home from
school on the next snow day! Now I hope they have learned from my mistake.
I sure have!
Can you reply with an outline of an interesting trip or other enriching
experience you've done with your elementary and middle school students?
Please post it to the whole ArtsEdNet group, rather than just me, so
everyone can learn from it!
Thanks in advance for sharing!
1-8 art on the cart
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, CT 06031