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Posts Tagged ‘Writing to art’

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

On Friday we took our youngest gifted students on a field trip. The day started at A&E Gallery. Paul Schexnayder, the owner, is an artist and teacher in our talent program. He opened up this old historical building to the wandering eyes of 1st-3rd grade kids. I asked them to find a piece of art that makes them amazed. I had made a form for them to use for a cinquain poem. After they wrote, they created a final draft to give to Mr. Paul. He will place the poems next to the art piece for visitors to see.

Gwen Voorhies, artist.

Gwen Voorhies, artist.

Madison wrote about the peaceful painting above.

Madison wrote about the peaceful painting above.

Lynzee wrote about a 3-D piece of an alligator on the high trapeze.

Lynzee wrote about a 3-D piece of an alligator on the high trapeze.

Jacob writing

We ventured onward to the Hilliard Museum in Lafayette. This museum is a fine art museum, different from the co-op gallery in New Iberia. The children drew a postcard of a painting and wrote as if they had visited the place. The docent then brought them to an art room where they could color their pictures with oil pastels and colored pencils. My students enjoyed exploring these art materials.

Exploring drawing with oil pastels.

Exploring drawing with oil pastels.

An art display of dresses made from cut up romance novels.

An art display of dresses made from cut up romance novels.

Our final stop (after lunch in the park) was the Lafayette Science Museum where the kids were allowed to roam freely to see dinosaur bones, insects, magnets, and a favorite of all, video games.
Field trips are a great way to expose our students to new things like art. As I was chatting with the docents, they shared with me that not many teachers take advantage of their program. This is disappointing to me. We need to take our students out of the school and into the world of ideas and creativity. This field trip was inexpensive, too. We only charged the students $5. They brought their own lunches and our gifted program procured the school bus.

I celebrate the beautiful day (temps in the 70’s), art, enthusiastic docents, and students writing, learning, and playing. An added bonus: Our students are all from different schools, so they made new friends, too.

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Write Beside Them was the title of the NCTE panel of Donald Graves winners from the last three years. I felt so proud and privileged to be on this panel along with Heidi Weber, 2013 winner, and Emily Elizabeth Smith, 2015 winner. Donald Graves’ philosophy that the teacher of writing is a writer herself drives my interaction with my students.

On Monday, the first day back after a week long break, we had a field trip. Not usually a good idea, but I signed up for the first rehearsal spot for our play at the Shadows, a local historical home. The gifted students in grades 4-6 practice the parts and perform for first graders. They tell the story of one of the boys, Charles Conrad Weeks, his sister Harriet, and his friends Riley and Caroline who lived and worked in the home in 1840. My students look forward to this play every year.

In addition to the play practice, I led my students down Main Street to an art gallery. There they looked at local art. This is where we wrote together.

I wrote beside them. Each of us chose a painting or other piece of art to inspire our writing. I wanted to leave behind little snippets on the artwork, so I found miniature brown bags for the kids to write on. We left them next to the art pieces. When the owner walks in this morning, he will have words waiting for him.

I wrote a poem for the work in progress on the easel.

An empty frame
waits
layers
of color
build
a world,
a circus
of imagination.
–Margaret Simon

Writing and art mix well together. My students described the artwork as well as found some inner truth to express. I don’t have any of the poems to share here today, but check back on Poetry Friday.

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