What is art?
Sometimes teachers of young children use “art” to refer to spontaneous, open ended and often messy exploration of color or texture with little or no teachers direction or involvement.
Let’s look at ways that we can explore new possibilities for ourselves as teachers, how we can begin to use the word “art” to describe a lively process of engagement with a range of materials, an engagement that is sensual and reflective, creative and deliberate, and that deepens and extends children’s learning.
As children become more comfortable and skillful with these media, they are able to use them to communicate their understanding, emotions and questions.
Children need to be viewed as competent, curious, full of knowledge, potential, and interested in connecting to the world around them.
As teachers we need to use the arts as a way to anchor their inquires of learning,
in the areas of…
We are able to do this by integrating art into out curriculum.
When integrating art into the early childhood classrooms children are given an opportunity to learn through art in the context of their learning in other areas of the classroom curriculum.
Children actively work with a knowledge base as they construct their understanding through art form.
In the picture above, we had just finished reading the story Jack and the Beanstalk. This group of children wanted to know more about castles, so we sat down and took time to look up pictures and talk about what we were seeing in the pictures.
Which then lead them to the art studio to create their own version of a castle.
As they worked together they noticed the different shapes and textures of the castles. Each child kept reflecting back to the pictures that they had printed.
Conversations where happening about what they could do with the castle once finished.
When given the opportunity to build or expand their knowledge children come up with amazing ideas and concepts.
The castle lead to the bean stalk and how tall could they make one.
The following day this appeared and the collaboration began.
"How tall do you think it is?"
"Really tall, look it's taller then the loft."
When we think of art as more than just art, we are creating an environment for children that will nurture their explorations and build on their knowledge.
Set up art invitation in a way to expand children’s learning by sparking questions, interest and ideas. Base this invitation on a subject matter that you have discussed.
New here, start here.
I'm Tami Sanders creator of Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers, a blog to help teachers create magical moments for the young.