The Rediscovery of Clarice Smith, the American Art Museum, Cub Camp, Brain Pop, Discoveries on Both Sides

Turkey Pond

Turkey Pond by Andrew Wyeth

Several years ago, as an AP English educator, as well as a Introductory level English teacher in Delaware, after receiving a scholarship and attending a dynamic Institute by the name of The Clarice Smith Institute, I learned that art as a foundation in my English classes helped ease the understanding of literary concepts such as metaphor, analogy, and more.  It worked, the students dug the visual and therefore those not initially strong in English became interested.  This was more than any educator could hope for.

Years later, I never imagined this would occur all over, with the advent of Cub Camp at ASF, Reading and Writing, and the inclusion of a week of Being an Artist and being introduced to a variety of concepts and terms, as well as artists to induce reading and writing and peak interests, and yet it occurred.  I have to say one of the best moments was as we were scrolling through information on several artists, the students recognizing pieces by Picasso, Cubist art, as well as pieces that are connected to Van Gogh.  The familiarity allowed the interest to be peaked and continue on to other artists that students, (yes, from 4-6 years old!) would at least gain some new vocabulary and information about.

In just four weeks I have seen students advance in the willingness to write and produce writing, despite possibly being weak in writing, yet persisting due to an interest tied to that very writing, in this case, art and artists.  What I as an educator found appealing was I was learning along with them, as I scrolled through the various names and examples of art – again priceless.  Yes I have learned so much during this simply four wee period of summer school, on an academic and on a personal level, and hoe the exposure to such topics as Frida Kahlo, and various other artist’s style will persist to encourage questions, inquiry, and knowledge to be sought out by students both from ASF and outside of ASF.  I am impressed with with content once I sat down and examined what was discussed in just one session Week 4 Tuesday,

as well as the interest students showed from the aura of Frida Kahlo to the interest of how Dr. Suess came to be.  I am finding the mini discoveries along the way make each day larger discoveries of ourselves.

Immersing myself in the Modern Art Museum in Mexico as well as the Tamayo Museum this week intensified the urge to create creativity in Reading and Writing for our summer camp classes, and when it came right down to it, wouldn’t it be great of education from all corners of the globe had the same approach?

About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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