The Essential Question that guided our projects’ focus was:
What can we learn from our responses to art?
Our field trips are designed to provide instruction in a particular artistic style, technique, or subject matter. Education Specialist Julie Hill presents a lesson, during which students complete small art projects at different points that relate to the content being taught and demonstrate their understanding of the concept. We provide guidance and examples for the projects, but do not limit or discourage the students in their approach to the work. Open discussion is encouraged, and Julie prompts students to think about the processes that an artist used to create an artwork, the visual components that make up the artwork, and the fact that everyone might have a slightly different response to the work. As a result of participation in a field trip, students should be able to speculate about processes an artist uses to create a work of art (VA:Re.7.1.3a), compare their own interpretation of a work to that of their friends (VA:Re.7.1.5a), Use observation and investigation in preparation for making a work of art (VA:Cr1.2.1a), and evaluate an artwork based on given criteria (VA:Re9.1.3a).
At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:
Comments from field trip students in response to the question “What did you learn?”
- “I learned that you can start with something and then make it your own by adding things you like.” Hadynn, 3rd grade, Giraffe field trip
- “Art work can be different than just a drawing that looks like something.” no name, 3rd grade, Giraffe field trip
- “I don’t really like abstract art, but this is the best art I have ever made.” no name, 3rd grade, Giraffe field trip
- “Giraffes are fun to draw. Especially if you don’t care if they look like a real giraffe.” Darma, 3rd grade, Giraffe field trip
- “I just love colors. So I liked the colors. I don’t like monsters, but I make colors on my monster. It was happy!” Brenna, Kindergarten, Elements of Art Monsters field trip
- [Did you like the colors you made?] “Yeah that was ok. You didn’t make me stay in the lines. I like colors if I don’t stay in the lines.” Xander, Kindergarten, Elements of Art Monsters field trip
- “Green and purple are mixed up colors. Like one color and one color makes them.” Zane, Kindergarten, Elements of Art Monsters field trip
It is always a joy to witness elementary students discover new things during our field trips, and demonstrates how important it is to provide these art experiences from a young age. Julie Hill, our Education Specialist, recalls a moment that encapsulates everything we aim to do at ARTitorium: “The kindergarten kids from a local school district came on field trips this year. As part of their field trip they did some color mixing, mixing primary colors to get secondary colors. It involved making some monsters different colors. I thought mixing colors would be something most kindergarten kids would have some experience with by the end of the year but, even in May towards the last days of school, the kids would still say, “Look what I made! It is turning orange”, or “I made green!” It is so fun and rewarding to have the kids experience something new in this way.”
Now after our fifth year of operation, we know that we need to focus on subjects that we personally find engaging in order to best capture the students’ interest. This year, Education Specialist Julie Hill was particularly excited about the subjects that she selected to teach, from Art Monsters and Giraffes to Pop Art and Illuminated Manuscripts. Overall, the topics kept the students interested and they responded favorably to all of the art projects. The component that worked best was having the lesson time in short intervals. The kids would see and discuss some art, then do some drawing, then see some more art and add to their picture. Students on field trips are eager for some fun, so keeping them busy while teaching them is a great way for them to learn. We would recommend to others doing a similar project to plan something the teacher is excited about, keep the kids working/busy throughout, and to split the projects into different sections in order to maintain the kids’ attention.