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Re: no pumpkins in october.

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ARTNSOUL12_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sat Nov 18 2000 - 15:02:25 PST


In a message dated 11/18/00 2:38:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, Nnaell@aol.com
writes:

> . It is why some
> of us are stuck on a cart or in a damp, leaky basement, without adequate
> curriculums, supplies or administrative support. It is why some of use
> have
> to make Santa center pieces and make sure our students go home with holiday
> gifts.
>
>

I agree that we need to have self-respect as art educators and elevate art to
the position it deserves. Shedding the stereo-type projects and
art-as-a-frill reputation that art still conveys to all those that don't
understand (all those administrators and non-art personnal) means changing
the focus of our programs to meet the Standards.

On the elementary school level, I teach a variety of learning experiences
which not only address the elements of art and principles of organization,
but that also integrate other subject matter as well. Easy to do in a
multi-cultural lesson, as one cannot define a culture without its art. Easy
to do, as art and math and art and science are so much connected. Easy to do
as art builds upon art history and substance and style of famous artists.

However, I think that there is something to be said of including a piece of
art as a special gift for someone. I do one project a year on each grade
level that is meant to be given by the children to someone special. For
example, last year my students made ceramic butterflies for sick children in
a children's hospital.

I think it is important to distinguish what kind of art the kids prepare for
gifts- not trite items. I never get into religion so for me it can't be an
Easter or Christmas gift. But, for example, after our 4th graders grew a
tremendous pumpkin this fall in science, they used the wonderful big leaves
for a pattern in a ceramic leaf dish. We discussed embossing, fossils, and
patterning. The dishes are stunning and the children are so proud of their
successful accomplishments. Friday they wrapped them up and can hardly wait
for Thanks"giving" to present them to someone special.

...A little PR for art going on here...of course, the parents treasure so
what their child has made and the children feel good about sharing their art
in this way. Sometimes the kids will mat and wrap up a painting and give it
to a special someone. Nothing like giving something of yourself. As the
American Express commercial (in the NY area) would say: a gift of oneself,
priceless!!!
Susan on Long Island