Thursday, October 20, 2011

Field Trips and Back-up Plans

Field trips are events separate from routine and the familiar. For this reason, they stand out as a marked change in a child's mind. We can use the experiences, sights, sounds, smells, etc., as a way to introduce grand ideas.

What happens if a child is absent or if, by circumstances like feeling overwhelmed by being out on the town, a child does not gather the same information as the next? These are questions I must answer or at least attempt to shake out from our field trip yesterday. And this is good. Very good. As a teacher, I like to ask myself "Why?" and "Why not?" daily, even minute-to-minute. Then once these questions are posed, turned upside down and inside out, I ask "How?".

We will be using the paintings of Chris Martin (Corcoran Gallery of Art) to lead the discussion for the final project of our Sense of Place exploration. A child was absent and because of the way the Corcoran (an absolutelyWONDERFUL destination, ALWAYS) plans their school tours, the groups of children had distinctly different experiences. They divide the class into two smaller groups and two docents lead each of these. This is sound practice, but in this case, one group did not get to see all of the Chris Martin paintings and of course, part of any field trip plan must include a plan for absent students!

What to do?

Here is a photo journey of what we did next . . .
Step 1: Paper cutter! I used parts of three brochures to create the visual "story" of the exhibit.
Step 2: The Daily plan tells us that we are going to talk about Chris Martin's exhibit. Helen the Chicken, cut from one of the brochures, pecks along the bottom of the new display.

Step 3: Take a look!
Step 4: Take a look at patterns.

Step 5: Sketch! Chris Martin sketched his ideas out before transferring these to large canvases. 

Next up: Paint the sketches and then plan out the large paintings!

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