Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Field Work at UMMA
Field trips are an important part of your child's education at Summers-Knoll, and for so many good reasons. It helps make the students feel part of the local community, and also opens their eyes to how much their town has to offer. It also helps make our curriculum come alive - it is one thing to discuss the ways art changed from the middle ages to the renaissance, for instance, but quite another to see and examine real examples. We meet fascinating and knowledgeable experts of various fields (Faye Stoner, our naturalist, or the docents at the museums, or farmers at a farmers market, for example) and the children see teachers learn along with students - How amazing is that!
We began the day, as usual, by a mysterious message on the blackboard. This time, the students quickly figured out that the message said that they were going to the Museum of Art this morning, and that I hoped to see art by artists of the Renaissance. We then read Katie and the Mona Lisa by James Mayhew. This book is an introduction to masterpieces of the Renaissance in Italy, and Katie has an adventure by walking into a painting.
We talked about art we may see at the museum, and then we were off. We started off in a big group and learned about perspective in art. Children tried their hands at drawing figures in perspective. Then we divided into 3 groups and 3 different docents toured with us (along with Clementine's parents, Mark and Linette, and me). George (the docent with the group I was in) did an amazing job engaging the children, and asking great questions. We saw art that was done prior to the Renaissance, and then noticed all the differences and changes that happened. Ariana noticed that figures looked stiff in paintings done in the middle ages, and other children observed that the proportions of bodies were off. We looked at various paintings and made up stories about what we thought the artist was trying to say.
When we returned to school, children from different groups shared what they learned with each other. Many, many thanks to all of the docents at the museum, as well as to Shan (our driver this morning), Mark Maynard and Linette Lao (our lovely and generous parent volunteers). It was time well spent!