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For instance, the Spanish and Art depts. went to the port-of-entry Hispanic
neightborhood of Pilsen in Chicago. With a Spanish-speaking guide, we had
a walking tour of the neighborhood to see the many murals on the buildings.
We encountered a mural artist painting and asked questions. We stopped
for hot chocolate at a cafe. We toured the Mexican Fine Arts Museum and
saw a fabulous Day of the Dead exhibit that transcended the typical
offrendas with installation art. We saw a tissue banner cutting demo (I'm
a casual student of Spanish--papel picado?). We talked, smelled, ate, saw
Mexican traditions and art. Students prepared by studying the Mexican
Mural tradition, and we designed murals on paper which could be constructed
for the school.
When learning about the Hundred Years' War, what better way to understand
the agony of war than to look at the Burgers of Calais by Rodin, those
heros who offered their lives to spare the city. They exquisite agony of
the figures bring emotion to words on a page. Ask the kids what they SEE.
They will see it.
Start a little at a time. After a few short years you will have many
innovative new ways to teach.
"The art of being wise, is the art of knowing what to overlook."
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