Curriculum Corner with Mrs. Honig
To appreciate the beauty and truth in a work of art, a young student must first be exposed to beautiful works of art and be encouraged to describe what they see. In Jr. Kindergarten, we hang reproductions of the Great Masters and encourage our students to look closely. Mrs. Techau and I might ask students: Do you see colors? What types of lines (if any) can you see? What shapes do you see? These initial questions not only inspire a sense of wonder and desire for life long learning, but they also help build the foundation for asking good questions, thinking logically, and forming persuasive arguments.
But how do we teach students to draw? First, the teacher must acknowledge that drawing is indeed a teachable subject that children can master. Second, the teacher understands that children will becoming excellent artists in the same way they become excellent readers, by mastering the "grammar" of drawing. For younger students this is accomplished by learning the 5 Basic Elements of Shape:
* Dots (roundish shapes that are colored in)
* Circles (roundish shapes that are not colored in)
* Straight lines (a line with no bend), curved lines (a line with any degree of bend)
* Angled lines (a line that bends to become a point)
Students are introduced to each element and then asked to copy and then duplicate the images. At times the duplications are not exact. However, as long as the duplicated images use the same elements and patterns, the student will develop small motor coordination and become more visually aware of the subject that is being reproduced. It is necessary for a student to learn how to copy before they can independently duplicate shapes in a truthful way.
Finally, teaching students to draw includes incorporating the study and practice of drawing into what they are learning about in History (the chariot of an Egyptian pharaoh), Science (leaves and birds seen on a nature walk), or Mathematics (dot-to-dot pictures while learning the sequence of numbers). These seemingly simple reproductions will inspire the love of beauty and truth in their own works of art and deepen their understanding of the liberal arts, even at this young age. Join us for a drawing lesson in Jr. Kindergarten!
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