I teach in a wonderful, supportive school in a low income neighborhood where 90% of the students receive free and reduced lunch.
The students are eager to learn, but unfortunately opportunities for learning about art in many different ways is limited.
The only art classes these children receive is in the school.
The school is a traditional school with 300 students grades Pre-K (3 and 4 year olds) to 5th grade who are primarily Latino and African American. Most of the students in the school are learning English a a second language.
Being able to make art with quality art materials is a must for all artist, even the tiniest ones. Since I am teaching students from ages 3 to 11, the kinds of art we make varies in many ways. Older students learn to paint with watercolors, acrylics and pastels, they use printing ink to make relief prints, they sculpt, use firing clay and learn to draw with perspective. Younger students work on building their fine motor skills by printing with their fingers, playing with play dough, painting with watercolors, beading, cutting and gluing and leaning to draw pictures of the things they see around them.
Luckily all students love art and enjoy getting creative with different kinds of unlikely materials.
They use recycled and found object and duct tape to make large and small sculptures that they design themselves. They learn about other cultures through making art from different countries by beading, weaving, pottery making and more. And although they don't know it, they are learning so much more than about how to make a pretty picture. They are learning about the world around them, how to persevere, work with others and problem solve. And, they get to have fun while doing it!
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