Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our Partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum

On Tuesday, February 17, 8th graders traveled to the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of our partnership with them. The purpose of the program is to integrate art into the History and English curricula. In the fall, Ms. Allen and Ms. Trenkle went to the American Art Museum to pick out art works that a) appealed to them, b) fit in with the upcoming curriculum or c) had been discussed in class.

Ms. Allen chose the following artworks:

The Dog Swap
The Fishmonger
The Dying Tecumseh
Interior with Portraits

Ms. Trenkle chose these artworks:

Westward Course the Empire Takes Its Way (pictured below with the Dying Tecumseh in the background)
A bust of Lincoln
The Adams Memorial
The Lord Is My Shepherd

In January, in preparation for the visit, students spent both their English and History class periods previewing the respective works of art and making inferences about them. Due to poor weather, our field trip in January was postponed until February....we were all ready to go!

Students rotated by homeroom to one of four activities:

1) A docent led tour of the 8 respective art pieces to learn what they are really about (and see if the inferences we made about them were correct!),
2) A scavenger hunt in the Luce Center (pictured below),

3) An observation and interpretation activity on the 3rd floor "modern art" gallery (pictured below),
4) Lunch.

Students took notes, asked questions, and explored, in preparation for their upcoming assignments.

Students have now been tasked with writing two creative writing pieces for submission to an anthology of writings about these poems. The finished books will be given to students (and their parents) at an evening reception in May at the museum. Stay tuned for a blog entry in May about this grade finale!

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