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Inspiration Drawn from Art, Nature, and Animals: Day 3 of the Seminar

July 27th, 2011

During the third day of the Art & Language Arts seminar, teachers and Getty staff drew inspiration from drawings, decorative arts, and nature. And the results took the form of…animal sketches, decorative wall paper, dream beds, drawings of nature, poetry, imaginative narratives, descriptive writing, lively discussions, and more!

No matter what we did, we tried to tap into our playful, creative spirits. To learn how some classrooms are putting art and exploration at the center of learning, read
“The Garlanded Classroom” from The New York Times.

So the question still remains…if you want to provide more artistic opportunities for students, how do you carve out time for this in your busy school year? If you participated in today’s program, leave a comment with a time-saving tip or trick that will allow more time for meaningful art experiences.

  1. Deborah Gal
    July 27th, 2011 at 20:19 | #1

    “The Garlanded Classroom” from The New York Times.
    Reading about Reggio Emilia is like seeing the pendulum swinging back from what we are doing now with the focus on standards and the testing. I think there are great ideas with the Reggio Emilia approach. In fact, I used aspects of Reggio Emilia when I worked on thematic units with the students before the standards and testing became the deity of education. I think there is a happy medium that can be incorporated in our education system. I think balancing student’s creative learning with appropriate developmental standards; while using informative evaluation, can be a successful educational method. At the same time, we must be able to take into account each child’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles.

  2. Crystal Wai
    July 27th, 2011 at 20:35 | #2

    A time saving tip to help make incorporating art into the classroom easier and more efficient…

    Infusing visual arts projects into other curricular areas is not only a great motivation for students but also a way of saving time, in a sense killing two birds with one stone by addressing two or more curricular standards in a single lesson or series of lessons. One example that could save time in this way would be having students who are working on fractions fold and cut paper as a math lesson. You could then save those strips or squares of paper or other material that you are planning to use in a future art lesson.

  3. July 27th, 2011 at 21:38 | #3

    Dear teachers, we’ve been having some technical difficulties with the blog tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  4. Beth Devakul Clark
    July 27th, 2011 at 22:35 | #4

    Art can be incorporated in any lesson plan. For example, to enhance writing, one can incorporate observations made on an art piece. A fun activity we did today was to look at the metal sculpture outside called “That Profile” by Martin Puryear. After finding the lines, shapes, and forms in the sculpture, we made an observation on what we thought is represented. We then wrote a story on what a person might experience seeing it for the first time. We did this from a Kindergartener’s perspective so the story was cute and fun.
    Here is a sample of what our story was:
    “I jumped off the tram. I ran up the steps and saw a giant beaver’s tail. No, it really wasn’t a beaver’s tail. It was a bunch of metal tubes all connected together to make a beaver’s tail. I tried to climb it; but security screamed, “NO!” I jumped in the middle and my mommy took my picture.”

    We could do the same with a Kindergarten class recording their story which would probably be at least that imaginative. We could use this as a platform to draw a picture of the character of that story. Then we could enhance vocabulary drawing lines from that character pointing to words describing the character they created.

    This obviously hits many areas including but not limited to observation and interpretation, creativity, writing prompts, and vocabulary.

  5. Gabriela Salgado
    July 27th, 2011 at 22:46 | #5

    In order to provide more artistic opportunities for students we simply have to make the time by enriching what we already do when we teach our units of study. Instead of having students draw a picture of a plant, identify its parts and write about it. We can enrich the experience by bringing out different media. Water colors, colored pencils, chalk and so on. This can be done through free exploration in centers. We need to make the time for students to explore and play.

  6. K.athleen Scott Meske
    July 27th, 2011 at 22:50 | #6

    Day three started with my favorite art activity, drawing. It felt good to refine the watercolors we made on Monday with charcoal pencils. As to the questions “what are some of your favorite art tips?” I think one of the hardest things to motivate teachers to do more art in their classrooms is the set-up and clean-up. Sometime in the first month, I identify 4 or so students that I can train to distribute materials to the other students and give them clean-up tasks. This saves me tons of time and the students feel proud to help “teach.”

  7. Abby Almeida
    July 27th, 2011 at 23:13 | #7

    A time saving tip to help make incorporating art into the classroom easier and more efficient:

    Schedule enough time for all that the art lesson entails. The time that meaningful art making requires needs to be planned for, just the same as other subject areas. The language arts extension activities very often include visual art activities… justification for using prime learning time for a standards based art lesson.
    Also, have materials prepared and ready to use, and allow time for clean up. If ever there is a time and use for parent volunteers, this is it.

  8. Claudia C Morales
    July 28th, 2011 at 00:05 | #8

    How do you carve out time for this in your busy school year?

    For most of my teaching career I’ve always left that art project till the end, the “when we have time…or after CST Testing” excuse, today the blindfolds have been lifted from my eyes…I must prioritize that time, for my students, for their creative spark, and for humanity’s sake.
    Today’s lesson of drawing with simple shapes released my fear of drawing. I’m sure this effective lesson will encourage my students to draw with more frequency. Although I was apprehensive at first when the invitation to demonstrate our sketches/drawings of the animals came I was eager to share, this was a first for me.

  9. Rosalia Luevano
    July 28th, 2011 at 05:45 | #9

    This is my first time doing a blog; thanks to the help of two of my co-workers who shared with me the steps on how to do it via text. I am very excited about everything we are learning. There’s so much to learn!!! I feel so excited that I have tools to share with my students when I go back to my Kindergarten class on Monday; yes! on Monday. We are one of the few schools that are still on the Track System. Oh yes!! The question: I think that I have to incorporate art into all curricular areas; this will allow my students to make meaningful connections and see the purpose of art. I know that I want to provide more time for them to work on their pieces of art since I don’t want to stop working when I’ve been asked to do so. I am so engaged!!! Probably using one hour just for Visual Arts on Fridays like one of my friend does in her class would be a good way to start so they can complete pieces of art. I know students in her class look forward to Art Fridays and work very hard during the week so they can enjoy creating and discussing art. I know that one hour of art on Fridays would be a good starting point for me and would provide my students with more time to play with the piece of work, principals of art and media they are being exposed to. Side comment: I am one of those teachers who doesn’t feel so comfortable about my art, but I am starting to feel more comfortable. I’ve been getting complements and questions about my uncompleted pieces of art in the tram and at home by my husband and my two boys. There’s so much I have to learn and practice with my students!!! Thank you for this opportunity! Rosalia

  10. Gloria Rodriguez
    July 28th, 2011 at 05:53 | #10

    I really enjoyed the tour of the exhibition Luminous Paper: British Watercolors and Drawings. It taught me that art has no restraints. Every time I took out the watercolors, I would make sure I told the students, “Be careful”. I realized today, that to be an artist means, use your all: thumbs, nails, even items. I’m eager to give my students that opportunity. I was able to see and talk to one of my students today, and I shared what I had been doing these past few days. His eyes lit up; when I told him we would be doing art in class. How beautiful it was to see a child’s eyes fill up with excitement.

  11. Debbie Breeding
    July 28th, 2011 at 06:12 | #11

    I always have students who want to help before school, recess, etc. Having them help prepare for an art lesson, would take away some of the set-up time, and give more time for the lesson itself. Also, in activities such as the sponge printing we did, sponges could be cut into shapes beforehand. Students would pick the shapes they wanted to use, without taking the time to cut them. The cutting of the sponges could be part of a math lesson: cut out an equilateral, isosceles and scalene triangle; a rectangle, a parallelogram, etc. Breaking up the steps into smaller segments, such as this, can make better use of time.

  12. Annette Antilla
    July 28th, 2011 at 06:31 | #12

    A time saving tip that I have found helpful….

    When using tempra paints, get some small empty glue bottles (that LAUSD has in supply) and fill with paint. I use 6 colors, and put Vasaline around the top before screwing on the top. This will prevent the top from ecoming impossible to take off for refilling. I then use mimi shopping baskets and place the 6 bottles inside–they fit perfectly. I have 5 sets for my 5 tables of students. The only thing that I bought were the 5 mini-shopping baskets which I probably bought at the 99 Cent Store years ago. I also use sheets of wax paper for individual’s pallet to mix the paint. Easy to pass out and clean up!

    I enjoyed participating the the lesson that could be used with students in observing art work–having students pose as the two people in DeGas’s “Waiting” and writing a sentence or two about the Midas head sculture. “Doing the lesson” really make it tangible for me to use with my students later.

    Couldn’t blog last night due to blog’s problems.

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