In Lafayette’s art studio classroom we are not only learning about the elements, principles and media of the visual arts, but are using the arts to gain a greater understanding, depth and richness of language arts, math, science and social studies curricula. Using the arts to teach, creates learning that is internalized and understood by children with all learning styles and on multiple levels. By educating students through the visual arts and traditional academic content simultaneously, I help inspire and nurture the truly creative thinkers needed for this new millennium.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The End of a Wonderful Era

Each year as the 5th grade begins to explore events from the early 20th century, Principal Main has come into the art room with her engaging stories about the role of feed sacks in quilt making during the Great Depression. She lets our 5th graders crawl all over her 1930s double wedding ring quilt in search of the characteristic rough feed sack fabrics. She hands them batting to hold as she shares the process of making a quilt. 
And then she shows them a number of her own creations. Students start to ooh and aah as they begin to see Principal Main as not only our school's "leader,"  but also as an artist with a life outside of Lafayette's walls.

Her Singer Featherweight sewing machine from the 40's is also an object of fascination… she shares how her mother taught her to sew and lets us know she still uses this lightweight quiet little powerhouse for most of her piecework. The patchwork quilt that the 5th graders produce for our auction takes on a new meaning. 
Our 2014 5th grade quilt during the quilting bee 2 weeks ago

When March rolls around next year, we will sorely miss this great learning experience. I videoed her last presentation this year, but it just won't be the same!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

An American Story… 5th Graders Explore the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Great Depression Through an Informance... and by Sewing our Very Own Depression Era Quilt to Sell at the Lafayette Auction!

Song, poetry, visual art, dance, tableau, and music helped 5th graders experience a deeper understanding of some of the events that took place during the early part of the 20th century. They shared their learning with parents last Thursday in a culminating Informance!
5G re-imagined the Great Migration Story by Jacob Lawrence with drawings to tell his story and through a giant map recreating the routes travelers took to the northern cities…
…5JL drew the well known artists, musicians, and writers that became the faces of the Harlem Renaissance, then created 6 word poems to describe their contributions. In music, all of us learned to sing and swing dance in the style that became popular during the Harlem Renaissance.
…5JB let Dorothea Lange's photos speak to them visually and then responded with haiku poems as they experienced the Great Depression through her eyes. And 5C shared their learning about the murals created as a result of funding by the Works Progress administration through an engaging and witty Reader's Theater. Our learning in 6 classes all culminated in a moving evening Informance for our parents last week.

…and finally, our quilt in progress made in the traditional flying geese pattern with fabrics mostly donated to Lafayette!