Saturday, February 1, 2014

Learning from the Masters with Scissors and Glue

In education these days, technology is all the rage.  It seems all professional development is focused on which apps to use, acceptable use, digital citizenship, and so on.  I, too, am part of that discussion.  My classroom is definitely tech-based.  For example, my students use the lap tops multiple times each day throughout all subject areas for different purposes.  Also, the use of my SMARTboard has turned the classroom into all of us teaching each other instead of me being sage on the stage.  Plus, there are many other examples.  I could go on and on.  In fact, technology integration in the classroom is not the rage, it is the present and future.

However, we cannot dismiss the value of old fashion, traditional, low-tech art projects. The art and science of design and creation has to start somewhere.  Usually, that somewhere does not involve a screen, keys, codes, or anything other than a child's imagination, paper, glue, and scissors.

Enter Meet the Masters.

Meet the Masters is an art education program in my school district.  Every K-5 teacher has the opportunity to invite a Meet the Masters instructor into the classroom for a two-part lesson each school year. My class was fortunate to have a skilled art volunteer, Mrs. Ananya Das, join us in the classroom on two consecutive Thursdays for an hour each time.  Mrs. Das taught us about Henri Matisse, his life, his work, and his legacy.  Not only were my students hanging on her every word and oohing and awing over Matisse's work, but also they had the opportunity to create a Matisse inspired design themselves.  I'll let the art speak for itself!

Students learning about Mattisse's works

Mrs. Das outlining the project guidelines

Students are set free to create! 

A work in progress

One student proud of his finished piece

Student created Matisse inspired designs are now
displayed in the classroom!

Thank you to Mrs. Das and Meet the Masters!

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