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Art conversation

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Slideshow for presentation to doctoral students about art conversations.

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Art conversation

  1. 1. Art Conversations Mary Ann Reilly
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Feb. 2007: Planned a Trial Unit of Study with Bilingual Teachers at a NJ middle school. </li></ul><ul><li>Unit of Study – Unit focused on journeys and embedded within that broad topic was the study of U.S. immigration </li></ul>
  3. 3. March 2007 <ul><li>Bilingual Teachers read Mary Williams’ Brothers in Hope to their 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. </li></ul><ul><li>I introduced students to Sybella Wilkes’ One Day We Had to Run . </li></ul><ul><li>Students learned about Sudan and the journey of Chol Paul Guet, a 14-year-old Sudanese boy, through a narrative he wrote, map work, and a brief film I made of images from Wilkes’ text and an 8th grade classroom. </li></ul>
  4. 4. March 2007 <ul><li>After discussing the text and viewing the film, students engaged in 20-minute art conversations. </li></ul><ul><li>Art conversations are “dialogues” that occur between two or more people in which no one talks but rather uses art paper and paint to converse. </li></ul><ul><li>I then demonstrated how I would pull a poem from the paint, using one painting a pair of students had created during their conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>Students then began to write their own poems individually and in some cases in pairs. </li></ul><ul><li>I conferred with students throughout this initial process. </li></ul>
  5. 5. April 2007 <ul><li>While students wrote, I photographed them at work and the paintings they had done. </li></ul><ul><li>I returned the next week and brought with me three large (24” x 36”) panels each with a student’s poem and art conversation in order to show students (and teachers) what finished work might look like. </li></ul><ul><li>I continued to confer with students helping them to finish their poems. Two bilingual students worked with me across two days in order to help translate from Spanish to English. </li></ul>
  6. 6. April - May 2007 <ul><li>I created a book for the school that had photographs of the students’ paintings and their poems. </li></ul><ul><li>Large panels of the work were completed in the end of April. These were donated to the school for an exhibition. </li></ul><ul><li>I returned to the school to lead students in a one-minute book pass. Students, teachers, and I sat in a large circle and passed books related to the topic of immigration and journeys. This served to immerse students in texts related to the study. </li></ul>
  7. 7. May 2007 <ul><li>Teachers next provided in-class opportunities for students to self-select texts to read related to the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Students discussed the books and wrote responses in journals to what they read. </li></ul><ul><li>This work served as a backdrop to the teachers more formal lessons related to immigration. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers reported that students’ interest in reading increased as well as their proficiency at reading. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Shirley Brice Heath Writes: <ul><li>“ Seeing and attending to specific features of perceived images engages us in calling up information we have stored through prior experiences and can now recall and recount verbally” (p.122). </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Two decades ago Maxine Greene (1988) wrote, “We do not know how many educators see present demands and prescriptions as obstacles to their own development, or how many find it difficult to breathe…a teacher in search of his/her freedom may be the only kind of teacher who can arouse young persons to go in search of their own. It will be argued as well that children who have been provoked to reach beyond themselves, to wonder, to imagine, to pose their own questions are the ones most likely to learn to learn” (p.14). </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>I think of Greene’s keen observation and the wise understanding she offers of the relationship between the actions of those who teach and the children who learn what it means to learn by listening not only to what their teachers say, but also observing their teachers’ lived experiences in the classroom. </li></ul>
  11. 14. Examples of Art Conversations Grade 5
  12. 18. Bibliography <ul><ul><ul><li>Wilkes, S. (1994). One day we had to run: Refugee children their stories in words and paintings. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Williams, Mary. 2005. Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan . Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. New York: Lee & Low. </li></ul></ul></ul>

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