Do you wonder how we can enrich our students’ academic experience and prepare our future leaders to be creative problem solvers in a world full of opportunities? I believe incorporating art into the daily education process of our children is critical to their development as high-quality thinkers and visionaries.
This week, we’re celebrating National Arts in Education Week with the intent of bringing more resources to teachers to promote creativity and imagination into the classroom. Over twenty years of experience teaching art to children and adults has shown me that art can be an important way to get students to think about a problem differently. Art can trigger different learning techniques like kinesthetic learning which can be very important for students who have trouble sitting and focusing on books or lectures all day long.
Art also allows kids to explore different skills through different art projects. They can explore lines, colors, textures and construction outside of the confines of a book. I’ve seen students experience those “a-ha” moments when they discover a new passion via an art project that taps a skill or interest previously unknown to them. When art opens a student’s eyes to their own potential, I feel the rewards and affirmation of the power of creativity in children’s educational development.
Today we kick off our celebration of National Arts in Education Week with a project based on one of our most popular blogs – Make a Fun Fish with Clay. This project combines a favorite children’s book, Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni, with a clay activity. After reading the book together, students get to create an imaginary new kind of fish similar to the ones the fish dreams up when he hears stories of the vast and fascinating world beyond his pond.
Besides interpreting a story and learning how to make a pinch pot and use slip to join clay, this project is an opportunity for students to search their imaginations and connect disparate ideas like a “cow” fish or fish people walking upright through the world. By imagining what could be, instead of just what is, students can expand their world and ours.
To view the lesson plan, click Fun Fantasy Fish.