Friday, May 11, 2012

I Want to Be in Kindergarten

Even though my kids are now in high school and 6th grade, I still want to be in Kindergarten. After all the grades they've been through, Kindergarten is still my favorite (My daughter would concur.). That might be because Kindergarten is at that magical cusp of rising competency and sustained playfulness.

But we have also been blessed with Akiba-Schechter, a school that has the most amazing Kindergarten team, who do the most uplifting and creative projects ever, such as a Master Artists Unit, which just wrapped up with a grand art gallery opening.

Visitors from other classes enjoy refreshments
at the Kindergarten Art Gallery Opening.
The Kindergartners study the works and lives of artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, all the way to Georgia O'Keefe and Jackson Pollock. Not only do they study their art, they literally get into it. For example, they crawl under a table to paint its underside in order to feel what it must have been like for Michelangelo to lie on his back for years painting the Sistine Chapel. The "funnest" thing (as my son would say) is the Art Gallery Opening they host at the end of this unit to showcase all they have learned. Of course I always go, even though my kids have long graduated from Kindergarten.


And now I'm looking forward to dropping in on my second favorite Kindergarten unit: the Young Authors Project. The kids actually create and publish their own books, illustrating and writing the stories they've thought up. Each book features an "About the Autor" segment on the back cover. I always stop by to see if I can help a child work out his or her story, and watching them diligently work on their books makes me appreciate how easy, how straightforward producing a book can and perhaps really should be.

4 comments:

  1. My children experience the Master Art program as well -- all through elementary school. I was the program chair for that for their last two years there. In the upper grades, we did art auctions with Monopoly money. I loved working with the kids on this program and finding mothers and fathers who would volunteer to help. I don't believe their school had an author program, though. Too bad.

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  2. This is fascinating post, Annette! I love the ideas that kindergarten students can be exposed to the "snooty" art world in a fun way. I might try this with my daughter. She'll be in kindergarten from September. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. WOW- this sounds amazing. Kindergarten has come a long way- and this is so wonderful.

    Wow- and the author program-that is amazing. Really makes me want to go back to kindergarten.

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  4. Jackie - I'm so glad to hear that the Master Artists unit makes it to other schools as well!

    Sun Hee - I'm telling you, Kindergarten is the best. At least in our experience.

    Anjuli - the author program is truly great and also a lot of fun for the adults.

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