Every year my class does a full month of learning on the fine arts. At the end of the month we hold an art gallery for all to visit. The hallway and classroom are packed with the children’s art. Parents and visitors walk through as if it is an actual gallery. The children become docents and show their work and knowledge with pride.
Our learning ranges from photography, sculpture, painting techniques (pointillism, cubism, splatter, modern.) and sometimes classical music (opera). It changes every year but this is the foundation for which the art gallery is built each year.
This year we are making changes to sustain the integrity of the art show and honor the children’s engagement in play. The learning begins with primary and secondary colors.
The children found all kinds of items around the room to represent primary and secondary colors. They went on a walk through the building and recorded their color findings. We introduced the color wheel by co-actively finger painting a giant color wheel.
We color matched with loose parts to reinforce and add texture to our wheel.
Every year to reinforce primary and secondary colors we gave the children individual color wheels for them to color and or texture. This year we changed it up to be more engaging. We asked the children to deconstruct their color wheels by cutting out the six triangles and creating a color wheel using all the resources in the art center.
How they chose to reconstruct their color wheels and show their color was up to them.
While some of the children chose not to recreate the circle wheel, that was ok. It really didn’t matter, they still understood the concept of primary, secondary and color mixing. The difference between this year and previous years, shows a deeper understanding of the materials and respect for the process on my part. I let go of control and trusted the children to learn, engage and create and they did.
When I first began this program 10 years ago it was to expose the children to the fine arts. I strongly believe the young child can learn to appreciate and value art and all it’s creativity. They can learn to recognize an artist’s work. Exposing them to the great artists widens their cultural knowledge. The Fine Arts stimulates higher level thinking. It opens the door for inspiration, creativity, and freedom of expression. It can fuel conversation to express opinion and empowers individuality. As educators and parents we hold the keys and it is our responsibility and obligation to unlock the door.
For more of our Fine Art (Matisse, Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, Pollock and..) follow our work on Instagram nan.sumner