Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Two visual art specialist teachers use contrasting interpretations of the human face to explore inquiry-based instruction and various techniques in visual art:

  • At Helen Street School in Hamden, Connecticut, visual art teacher Pamela Mancini uses portraits from two periods in history to help a fifth-grade class discover that there is more to a painting than meets the eye.

    After examining the paintings, students draw original portraits, expressing information about their subjects through expression, clothing, background, technique, and other visual cues. They conclude the lesson by sharing their responses to each other’s work.

    “Visual art gives students a time to wind down and express themselves,” says Mancini. “They have the freedom of making choices; they learn from making the decisions that they make. They learn to look at their work in a different way.”

  • At Ridgeway Elementary School in White Plains, New York, MaryFrances Perkins introduces mask-making to a second-grade art class. By making their own masks, students examine the concept of symmetry, study the vocabulary word for the day, and learn that masks are found in cultures throughout the world. Children gain skills and confidence with the art form as they identify common characteristics of masks, such as exaggerated features and decoration, and relate the shapes of eyes and noses to geometrical shapes they have learned.

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