Luanne Wrenn, BCS Art Teacher
At BCS, students in fourth grade created visual art and writing composition combined with a guidance lesson on empathy. Students began by learning about Vincent van Gogh and discussing his life and his painting of his boots. They discussed what it might have felt like to be this artist who was under-appreciated in the art world during his lifetime. They became keen observers, noticing how van Gogh’s boots reflected the way he lived and who he was.
Students were then asked “How do your own shoes reflect who you are? What little marks do they have, what colors are they and how are they wearing out because of what you do?” Next, they took off their shoes, picked up their pencils and crayons and began a portrait of their own shoes.
During the same week, students worked with Mrs. Wade, our guidance counselor, who presented a lesson on empathy. When students came in for their second art lesson of the week, they began a writing piece that related to both empathy and to their shoe portrait. The prompt for the writing composition was, “Take a walk in Someone Else’s Shoes.” These thoughtful presentations were displayed at the recent fourth-grade music concert along with a variety of sculptures and other drawings. (see example student work)
We are fortunate at BCS to be able to have extra art sessions for students on a rotating basis. This year, we are using this time to integrate literacy that ties directly and naturally into art projects. This art-literacy connection is enhancing student awareness of the importance of content area reading and writing.