Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Art Presentations in Elementary (and all ages)
Provide art experiences in the basic skills at primary and early elementary. Nothing fancy, but use *real* materials: real watercolors with good brushes to make small designs on small watercolor paper; rubbings; outlining, etc. (in primary, some albums have art in the Exercises of Practical Life and some have it in "Culture").
"The best for the youngest." Give the children the best materials possible and show them how to utilize and care for the materials during this time of formation.
By providing basic skills and assuring they are well learned, with good materials, they can then apply those skills to their later studies, interests and passions.
When studying an ancient civilization or another modern culture, or finding patterns in geometry or mathematics, or just illustrating a work in language, they will have the skills they need to reproduce anything they see.
There is no need to present every art form, if you have provided the very basics.
So we might not have a presentation on mosaics, or on pottery, but they can re-create these things because of the experiences they have had utilizing non-drying clay, cutting and gluing. They can learn from a crafter or a book or a video the additional skills they desire to reproduce an art form for which they might not yet have the skills.
If they have basic folding skills (folding napkins in primary, leading to folding paper - very, very basic), we won't have to present origami to them before they read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes and teach themselves how to make cranes.
And they can create pyramids from paper folding when studying Egypt.
Basic plant skills or other basic art skills: they can re-create their version of the Hanging Gardens when learning about the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.
They can study artists and art periods under the guise of history, creating timelines, and creating in the style of various artists.
They will extend their art skills in day to day life and studies, without art skills being a separate study.
And they will be able to express themselves when words are not enough - now or in the future, as they prepare for adolescence.
How many pyramid paper patterns can be designed?
Let the children discover this! You've given them the tools: how to fold paper, all the sensorial materials; you've given them the structure, now let them explore! :)