"We got to use a different part of the brain"

Posted by Rebecca Moore - 18 February, 2011

At a recent full faculty meeting, 7th and 8th grade teachers made presentations that were too beautiful and interesting to confine to the lecture hall where they took place.

Marina Prucha, Enzie Willett and Rosie Dumoulin  shared student art work created in an interdisciplinary project on the Impressionists and other artists which combines art, foreign language and library research methodology.

In the spring, students select a French or Spanish artist to study. After doing research, they paint in the manner of that artist, creating a copy or a loose, but recognizable, interpretation.

The teacher sets the classroom atmosphere by playing French or Spanish music while the students paint. The finished works are presented to classmates with gallery talks (in the language of study) to their classmates. In addition, a little cross-cultural exchange takes place as the French students visit the Spanish gallery and vice versa.

English teacher Patrick Green described another project that he, Shelly Harriman and Alex Scalfano have devised, which engages student creativity. Students chose one of four assignments to demonstrate their understanding of Shakespeare—in this case, The Tempest—through graphic design, video and shadow puppets.

Throughout the year, faculty have presented different parts of the curriculum to their colleagues. These have been inspiring and impressive presentations. It is exciting to come out of a meeting saying, "You should have been there!"

Topics: 7th grade, 8th grade, art, English, French, library, Middle School, Spanish, teachers

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