C's pre-K class just finished a 3 week unit on art, culminating in a trip to a local art museum. I've been hearing about this unit in little snippets after school.. It's been interesting to try to figure out what on earth they've been doing from the one line facts that C chose to provide.
"Art is shoes."
"Picasso didn't just do paintings, he also did sculptures."
"And then there were marbles, but my marbles kept falling out, so it didn't really work."
"We made stabiles. It's like a mobile but it's a stabile."
"Kline painted with lines."
"We got to splat! The paintbrush wasn't allowed to touch the paper. Only to splat or drip. Like my friend Jack makes art." (I later found out that they had been studying Jackson Pollack.)
"We're all artists, Mom. Even you."
I was really quite bewildered. But I could tell that he was having fun with the unit, and maybe learning a little something too.
When I asked him how the trip to the museum was, he eagerly told me how on the way there in his classmate's car they watched "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and on the way home they watched "Mickey saves Santa."
But what about the museum? "Well, we looked at some art, and then we went to the bathroom, and then we had snack, and then we looked at a little more art and then came home." With a little more prodding, he did eventually say that they looked at a Mondrian painting and then tried to copy it.
So I was really surprised by the impressive display of their creations when the class opened their own art gallery this week. Even though the information didn't always come home, it was clear that they touched on all different types of art, from pop art, to line art, to sculptures, to still lifes, and quilting. Seeing all the kids showing off their work with such pride was wonderful. They knew that they really were artists. And that's the best lesson of them all.