Elementary Teachers Share Arts-Integrated Lessons at the Getty Center

My name is Theresa Soto, I work with
teacher programs here at the Getty Museum and I have the great pleasure to
work with the wonderful teachers in this room who have committed to a year
professional development called the art in language arts program. So we're here
to celebrate them, but we're also here to learn from them and to have the teachers
that have graduated from this year-long training share what they have developed
from the resources that they have learned through the program, so we're going to hear all kinds of great lesson ideas. The artwork that I chose to do my lesson on was the still life by Paul Cezanne, 'Still Life with Apples'. So the first part of
the lesson was the materials that I used. I of course needed the still life, I also
had individual picture cards where I took prints of the still life and I cut
them up on two individual picture cards. Students would have the 30 seconds to
take a look at the artwork that's when they would be given the five cards. I hand one person each a card, I told them to look at the card, so you're going to walk around as if you're walking around the classroom. Hand somebody your card. And then I would say freeze. You had to get into a group with four other students who had four different cards to represent all of the items that were in the still life. After they looked at the artwork as a whole, I told them to just focus on the apples and tell me what they saw in the apples. So then I
had them explain color, texture, size, shape, lines, and we did a bubble map
together, I had them circle three different adjectives with their apples
and then they created a poem. 'Apples, juicy apples, juicy yellow apples, juicy yellow tasty apples, apples, and then after they did the poem they then created their own artwork
using chalk focusing again on the apples focusing on shape, color, and shading they really enjoy the idea of being able to blend the apple so it looks like it was
shaded. I personally love Impressionism. My
inspiration was Monet's 'Wheat Stacks'. I first displayed 'Wheat Stacks', then we
created a circle map I wanted them to create a cinquain, which is a 5-line poem.
We created a treemap of cinquain terms. I have one example of a cinquain by
Marlene, she wrote 'Wheat stacks, lonely, abandoned standing, showing, glowing, a cold crisp
morning, bundles.' They came up with a lot of really neat observations. They thought
it might look like a teepee. Others thought it looked like a cupcake or a muffin, and I
asked how does it make you feel? So you'll see feelings, words like it feels
cold. Then we took all those terms and we created our tree map, to get them ready
to write their cinquain poem. I wanted to make sure they understood certain key
vocabulary terms that would apply to this type of art, like balance, content,
line, space, mood, hue, and texture. The students created
their own paintings using cotton swabs and tempera paint. This is a whale by
Melissa. 'Whale, colorful, bright, jumping dipping, staring, alone in the middle of
the ocean, mammal.' Horizon by Trinity 'Horizon, lonely, colorful, shining, glowing,
shadowing, alone, and beauty orange.' Flower tree. 'Flower tree, colorful, happy, standing, glowing, sparkling, the flower on a cloudy day, plant.' She had a little bit of Van
Gogh in her too, you can see the swirls. Little Israel he wrote 'Beach, huge, blue, sailing, exciting, flowing, beautiful, flowing waters, island.' This was just such a great
experience for me. We decided to collaborate because this
is one way we can enhance what we've gained from here. This is the painting
that we decided, which is 'Man with a hoe' Our questions were strategically going
to lead them to the empathy and the cultural awareness and the social
awareness with this artist. What amazed us was that our kids just responded,
truly I saw something in them that all this time I'd missed, we're teaching so
systematically, it almost made me ashamed of myself. That's pretty much going back
to this whole program of art we were pleasantly surprised, both of us. We were
both excited we'd get on the phone and say oh yes my students said this and so it
was now this energy coming back and forth just enlivening in our classroom. Here is one of the poetries that came out
from my class. 'I'm a hard-working farmer, I'm not
delighted by the harsh rays of the sun, I am tanned like the soil, I'm harvesting but
I'm not rewarded by my work, I'm sweating but I'm not giving up.' My student Yasmine who is an ELL learner. 'I am tired dirty and thirsty, I'm not royalty, high
class, or popular, I'm not posing for a portrait, I am brown like the soil
beneath me I am like a machine endlessly working
but I am not a workhorse, I'm not clean fancy or king i'm not rich I'm just a hard worker.' What we gain by
working together is we're ready to now have the confidence to guide our
students through this whole entire lesson. We also learned that they had
their own language even though two eyes were looking at an artwork there was
still so much the students were giving us. So I definitely developed a higher
confidence. It was almost a surprise what we gained, it almost worked from the
inside out. I saw that happening somehow to my
children. There was this genuine language and
excitement that they had already possessed. What came out of our students were unique and authentic poetries. All of a sudden we were a community and we were in a community even though we were two different classrooms. So this is a
reminder to us that art was this poetic language and that everybody was included everybody in the
classroom was included. Including myself. [CLAPPING]

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