Through a recent art project, Kindergarten students have gotten the opportunity to “travel around the world” and add stamps to their passport, one country at a time. According to visual arts teacher Sarah Baldwin, “The students get very excited about traveling to each continent! Every Kindergartener has an art passport, and whenever we visit a new continent, they get to choose a new sticker for their passport page. Their passports also serve as sketchbooks, so they are able to take notes and make drawings about what they’ve discovered in each continent. The students also learn about continents with their classroom teachers, so they are able to make many connections between what they learn in their classrooms and what they are learning in art.”
Each time the Kindergarteners travel to a new country, they also learn about famous works of art, artists, and new techniques utilized in that place. “We explore a variety of mediums each time we visit a new continent. When we were in North America, we explored collage, tempera paint, and fiber art. In South America, we explored watercolor paint, collage, and soft sculpture. Right now, we are in Antarctica, and we are creating a variety of textures in watercolor as well as exploring the Aurora Australis using colored pastels. Students are introduced to a variety of materials, and I encourage them to explore how these materials interact with one another in mixed media,” Ms. Baldwin said.
For Ms. Baldwin, these worldly explorations not only provide her students with a sense of wonder but an interest in learning about other peoples’ stories, a desire to express their own stories, and an open mind. “I believe that these lessons are important because they intentionally introduce students to artists and artistic styles from all over the world, building their empathy for different ways of living, creating, and moving about this world,” Ms. Baldwin said. “A successful day in art is when students leave my classroom feeling more curious about the world around them.”
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.