Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Life in the Art Room

Fifty kids come at different times of the week for art sessions at Phoenix Rising. For the first unit in their classrooms this season, they are learning about self-care, being your own best friend, finding inspiration from legendary and historic heroes, and being the genie, the grantor of wishes. My job is to enrich their studies with art; I add in bits of art history and music to make it all more fun and to build brain associations. 

 The littlest ones made self-portrait puppets.
  They listened to Mozart and heard a story of how he found inspiration for a song. They stuffed cotton "brains" into their heads, drew tiny faces and helped glue on hair. They got to see a real violin too, which they dearly wanted to play with!
 The kids in this group are making ceremonial "talking sticks." They listened to a Native American flute, which really stirred them and got them talking about peace and calm.

 Making felt brooches just for fun.
  The kids had a discussion of lofty virtues and chose these words themselves.

 These kids have been reading the story of Robin Hood. I was surprised they really loved listening to medieval music - strange sounds for them, but they were very interested in the instruments and how stories were passed on by troubadours because no one could read or write. They also liked the Bayeux Tapestry, - a 240-foot embroidery (yes!) which tells the story of the Norman conquest of England.

The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered cloth which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England and culminating in the Battle of Hastings. It is one of the supreme achievements of the Romanesque period, made in England in the 1070's.

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