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theschoolboards
05-17-2011, 11:44 AM
A parent talks about the arts curriculum (http://devstu.org/blogs/10-lessons-the-arts-teach) at New Traditions:
Recently, I toured my daughter’s annual school art show, a culmination of the students’ work in the visual arts. In addition to the standard district curriculum, all students at the school receive weekly art and music classes, as well as either drama or dance instruction.

I am not an artist but as an educator and parent, I was thrilled with the imagination, diligence, and joy evident in the show. The art teacher, Meg Sandine, is an accomplished artist and teacher who has taught at the school for ten years. She not only works closely with the teachers to integrate the district curriculum into her art classes but also assists the teachers in finding creative ways to teach the standard curriculum.

In her art classes, Meg often uses the children’s surroundings for subject matter material. Children study the chosen subject matter over time through real-life observation (if possible), photographs, and discussion. They apply their knowledge by creating several art pieces on the same subject matter using different media.

Each grade level studies a different topic. For example, Meg chose to have the kindergarteners study birds. There are hundreds of bird species in San Francisco so she knew they would be familiar with them. First, she had them use cut paper to explore shape and create birds in their natural environments.

Then she had them use paint and crayon to show what birds eat. Can you see the pink worms in the bird’s stomach? Finally, the students worked for months to produce bird puppets using papier-mâché, felt, and feathers.

The fourth graders studied the architecture of Victorian homes, which are plentiful around the school’s vicinity and in San Francisco in general. First, they took a walk around the school’s neighborhood and made sketches of Victorian homes.

Then they used color photos to draw Victorian homes and label their architectural features.

Lastly, they constructed Victorian homes out of wood pieces and painted them.

read more>> (http://devstu.org/blogs/10-lessons-the-arts-teach)