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Mondrian and Boogie-woogie Broadway lesson


Date: Fri Jun 04 2004 - 03:47:26 PDT

In a message dated 06/03/2004 10:09:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
"Mondrian arrived in New York in 1940, one of the many European artists who
moved to the United States to escape World War II. He fell in love with the
city immediately. He also fell in love with boogie-woogie music, to which he was
introduced on his first evening in New York, and he soon began, as he said, to
put a little boogie-woogie into his paintings.
Hi, Jude, and all,
I love to teach about Kandinsky in relation to his painting in musical terms.
In fact, when Disney came to film my classroom two weeks ago, that was one of
the lessons I highlighted because I love it so much. However, my first
graders just finished studying about Mondrian. This lesson can be adapted to any
grade level:

We specifically discussed his "Boogie-woogie Broadway" painting. The students
discussed what the painting reminded them of, and yes!, they actually
discovered it looked like city streets from standing on top of a building and looking
down! I had them get up and do the "boogie-woogie", to jazz music, dancing
around the room like New York city lights blinking. Of course, my students
have a frame of reference to Broadway because many have been there (only 30
miles from NYC). They learned that Mondrian painted horizontal and vertical
squares and rectangle rows of the primary colors (great elements for 1st grade), to
show the city in an abstract way and in terms of music. This was a concrete
way to show 1st graders the concept of "abstract", as well.

Then, on 18"x18" white paper, glue sticks, and with lots of paper red, blue,
yellow, and white squares and rectangles, my students created their own city
in horizontal and vertical lines. They did this while listening to jazz.
Susan on Long Island- in school until the last Friday in June!