The art:21 blog has an interesting post entitled Playing with Contemporary Art. It briefly discusses how kids create sculptures through play and how the students regard it as ‘fun.’ It name drops Dr. Stuart Brown whom I wrote about before here regarding the importance of play. It also reminds me of a previous post I made about our K students who created various pieces of artwork for one of their units and turned their clasroom into a gallery.
More classroom teachers could be using the arts to enhance or introduce topics to get creative juices flowing. I have used photography in the past to inspire creative writing and to create musical compositions with grade three students. I have also assignd students as publishers and illustrators who had to create artwork for published stories. An ESL student once wrote a children’s story with no text. You wouldn’t believe how much more difficult that is. Critical thinking was oozing out of her ears.
I once went on a three day workshop in Romania and on the second day, we visited a cultural museum. Prior to going, we brainstormed questions regarding Romania. We then went to the museum to see if we could get any of our questions answered. We returned as a group and discovered we had more inquiring questions than answers. It was a perfect vehicle to then start independent projects. The presenter used this approach as a way to demonstrate how we could motivate our students into projects and research through art.
Are you doing anything interesting with the arts in your classes?