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The Arts In Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers

Watch the Program

(60 Minutes)

While you watch, consider these focus questions:

Lesson 1: Influences of the Past

  • What historical references might have influenced Quidam?
  • What role does history play in the ideas that artists have?

Lesson 2: The Power of Costume

  • What do costumes symbolize or represent in various works of art?
  • How is a costume a work of art?

Lesson 3: Magritte and Nikolais

  • How might biographical information about an artist inform our understanding of his or her works?
  • How could the work of one artist influence the work of other artists?

Lesson 4: Art Historian Role-Play

  • What is street performance? Is it art?
  • How does historical precedent affect our view of art today?
  • What criteria should be used to identify and define works of art?

Activities and Discussions

Costume Design (30 minutes)

Using available materials, design and construct a simple costume item, such as a hat or a scarf, that an actor might use to portray a “wild thing.” The costume should support the way the character would move and should communicate the following things about the character:

  • emotions
  • personality traits
  • locale
  • gender
  • historical period
  • age
  • occupation
  • social status

Reflect on the symbolic or literal nature of costume elements.

Share costume pieces or pictures of costumes with the entire group using the following focus questions:

  • What are the similarities and differences among these pieces?
  • Why might these similarities and differences exist?
  • How have symbols been used to express character traits?
  • What effect might particular materials, color choices, or construction techniques have on the designs and the way the characters can move?

Reflection (10 minutes)
Facilitator: Use these questions to focus a closing discussion:

  • Why is an understanding of history informative in the creation and analysis of works of art?
  • What opportunities do you have in your daily classroom routine to address important historical connections to learning?