Friday, December 12, 2008

Getting Centered In The Art Room

This year the Kindergarten and first Graders are enjoying a center based Art Room. I am using A Treasury of Art, by Rosie Dickens as the base for their curriculum. Each lesson introduces the students to a new artist and teaches the students a new skill with hands on projects that are connected to the artist.
In a center based art room the students are encouraged to pursue areas of art that appeal to them. Every lesson begins at the main table, where the children receive a “post card” of the art work to be discussed. We look at the post card, talk about the work and learn an interesting fact or two about the artist that created it. Then I give them instructions about the project and we begin to work. Those who finish the project early are allowed to visit any of the other centers that are set up in the room.
THE MUSEUM CENTER: The Museum center features a doll size museum that displays miniature prints of the artist’s work and two small dolls that act as the museum guides. (The prints change every time we learn about a new artist.) There are also books available to look at that are connected to the lesson of the week.
THE DRAWING CENTER: The Drawing Center is set up with blank paper, markers and coloring sheets related to the topic.
THE ARCHITECT CENTER: The Architect Center is available for children to design their own buildings. Sometimes they are given “blue prints” to try and copy but often they are just given the building materials. I rotate the building materials every week. Sometimes there are blocks, sometimes legos, sometimes Lincoln logs and sometimes random pieces of wood.
THE POST CARDS: The post cards that we look at at the beginning of class are pasted to the back of the portfolios that they made at the beginning of the year. This portfolio will be sent home at the end of the year and will be full of all the wonderful things that they are creating as they experience their adventure in art.

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