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Lesson Plans

field trip anecdote

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sat, 1 Jun 1996 09:16:23 -0500 (CDT)

I thought I would share the following experience - it struck me funny and
may give you all some insight into the joys of teaching art to culturally
advantaged gifted students.
I recently helped lead a 5th grade field trip to Chicago. Most of our first
day was to be spent at the Art Institute, and beyond the docent-led tour and
the tour I would lead (with a different focus) and a scheduled stop in the
arms and armor room, the kids were going to have lunch and some free time.
Before the trip, I obtained some postcards from the museum of some of their
works. I cut a small corner from eight of these, and explained to the
students on the drive up that this would be in the nature of a scavenger
hunt: I would give each group and its chaperone one of the corners and they
could try to find the original artwork at some point during the day. I had
visions of children carefully perusing a multitude of paintings for colors
and textures and patterns as they roamed those hallowed halls. NOT!! I
handed out the corners as we left the bus at the field trip entrance and
before we could reach the door, two of my students had identified their
pieces. MY group took a typical gifted kids, problem-solving appraoch:
They asked the lady at the little entrance gift counter if she recognized
their corner (it was the feet of the young "orange" girls in a rather famous
Renoir, so of course she did.) After getting the name of the artist, it was
a simple matter for them to ask the guard at the entrance turnstile where
they might find the painting and the rest was a piece of cake. (They did
enjoy seeing the real picture!) The trip was fabulous, the kids had a great
time, but I had to chuckle at my innocence and naivete - after all these
years, I should have known!

Eileen Prince
Sycamore School