La clase verde and la clase torquesa made a special trip to the Barnes Foundation art museum to explore the various forms of art, enhance the children’s knowledge of color and the color wheel, as well famous historical artists.
Our trip began with a warm welcome from the Barnes staff and was followed by an interactive introduction about colors. The kids identified the three primary colors and were expected to play close attention to specific pieces of art and the colors used in those pieces.
After breaking up into two groups, we then continued to one of the art galleries that showcased a large portrait of a woman wearing a red headdress. The kids were successful in identifying the first primary color of the day, red, and learned about the history of the artist. While looking at the many portraits in the room, we also discussed why most people in the portraits did not smile. (Ask your kids why there are minimal portraits with a smile!)
We continued into the next gallery and analyzed the work of Picasso. An all-blue portrait of a withered old man served as the example for our next primary color, blue. The tour guide sparked a discussion about texture, the use of color, the mood behind the use of color, as well as the potential feeling(s) the artist was trying to evoke.
For the final gallery, the kids were on the hunt to find art with the color yellow as the centerpiece. After identifying a large family portrait with the color yellow as the central color of the piece, the kids then began to pick out the finer, yellow details in other artworks. We then experimented with still life by putting flowers in a vase to compare the differences between a portrait and reality.
To summarize our learnings, the Barnes instructor’s read “Mix it Up” by Herve Tullet, an interactive book of color all within the printed page. By following the author’s instructions throughout the book, the kids were able to suddenly see colors appear, mix, splatter, and vanish—all propelled by the reader’s imagination.
It is clear that all aspects of art can stimulate the mind and can be integrated into early childhood learning and development. For example, the red scarf observed in the first gallery can provoke imagination and the still life flowers observed in the final gallery can be used to teach math, for the flowers can be analyzed both spatially and geometrically. In addition, art is an essential part of the creative curriculum utilized here at Mi Casita. Through art, we as teachers are able to reenforce social-emotional, cognitive, mathematic,and language abilities.
Our experience ended with a new and exciting color song that we all learned for the first time today. While it may have rained on our travels back, nothing could have ruined the day!
A special thank you to the staff at the Barnes for the excellent tour and for being extremely kind and accommodating.
Post contributed by Matt Falsetta en la Clase Verde