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Lesson Plans

Michelangelo Buonarroti Web Site

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
nancy senn-kerbs (fmuseumnancy)
Mon, 12 Oct 1998 10:15:27 PDT

Someone sent a message saying teach art not art history. I think there
are ways to do both without being boring or bureaucratic ...even with
4-year olds...or most especially with 4 and 5 year olds. We teach art
and art history to pre-school age children all the time via hands-on
projects that mimic many historically important cultures, movements,
artists, styles etc. etc. The kids won't pick up much from us about the
politics, popular drugs, social movements or other such sophisticated
info typically included as part of art history. They will probably know
that Mary Cassatt used mothers and children as subject matter, used
brighter colors as her eyesight faded and used chalk a lot. As they do
their own creating, they may be heard saying such things as "my flowers
look like VanGogh...or my flower is that lady...O'Keefe."
They may not know the religious underpinnings to Egyptian art, but they
may recognize that they do their eyes full foward like the early
Egyptians did...and vessels (pottery, baskets, carved wood and stone)
are an important part of nearly every culture and that when they use
clay, they are using basically the same stuff as the ancients did. They
relate perfectly well to things that are familiar to them. "Did so & so
get married,have kids, have pets...what kind of shoes did they wear."
This is history at the basic learning and contrast,
stimulate questions...let kids do as they did in history, whether it is
making egg tempra or dyes from natural things. Will this be simply
information or will it have meaning? Depends on the kid. And if it is
ONLY information now...the ability to give it meaning can grow with
experience. I believe in the earlier the better! Nancy S.

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