I love the way visual kids express themselves, learn problem solving, see multiple solutions to problems – and the impact the arts have on developing minds. Meet Terra. She makes me want to be 16 again.
Terra is the head of the Menomonee Falls High School art department and I want to be a student in her classes. Recently I had a tour of the art classrooms, saw student work and enjoyed Terra’s classroom stories and favorite assignments.
Here were a couple of my favorites:
Family assignment – Kids were assigned to create a ‘family’ of clay pots. The four pots had to be like members of a family, with similar traits, but each one differentiated by their own unique traits. They could use only three colors, the same three for all four pots –and they had to be applied to reflect each pot’s uniqueness. This sounded a lot like an English assignment, but these visual-spatial kids got to solve and communicate visually.
Do and redo – Students are given an art assignment, a problem to solve – visually and spatially. Once its complete, on time, there’s a critique and grade assigned. But Terra doesn’t stop there; she invites the student to reconsider their work. After a meeting and discussion, they rework their piece considering the feedback received. They turn it in again, on its next due date, and receive a second grade. Is that happening in your science or math class?
Community – Terra is also a master at creating community, an art community. Relationships and a sense of belonging are critical to us as human beings, especially in our school years. Art tends to be a solitary pursuit so every opportunity for art kids to belong to a group is especially significant. As I looked around the room I saw evidence of ownership of the classrooms, shared lives and time spent in discovery.
Never underestimate what’s happening in an art class!
Click here to visit her web site:
What is your child’s learning style? There are three basic learning styles; visual, tactile, and auditory. Take the test and get immediate results: Is your child a visual learner?