•   owl5  tree  owl Creating Art Together  owl3  at the Primaries owl9  tree6  
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             I am privileged to witness how each student’s artistic attempts begins with a blank canvas and transforms into a beautiful masterpiece. All of my students have the ability and creativity to cultivate an impressive work of art. While producing a work of art, my students capture a magical blend of artistic talent and passion for the arts. Students gain a greater understanding of the world around them when art is blended with science, math and literacy. To illustrate, literacy is embedded into the second grade curriculum as I collaborate with the teachers to write poetry about art that inspires them. This integration provides a scaffold for a balanced curriculum. Each student in my K-3 classes is called an “artist” who is learning how to draw lines and shapes, express feelings through color, incorporate symbolism, and convey a story through their work of art. Students learn to use the variety of art materials available, recycle materials in their art, and master many art techniques.    
            These young artists are also inspired to creatively hone their skills and gain awareness of famous artists, events, and cultures within my classroom and the surrounding community. For instance, primary students from our three schools have merged in conjunction with our Erie County Legislators to create Valentine cards for our American Veterans and those brave soldiers overseas. They also wrote sentiments that complemented their drawings for patients at Hospice, made collaged ceramic bowls for the WNY Food Bank, participated in an International Pinwheels for Peace event, and made butterfly quilts for our school beautification project. Through these community efforts, students are taught the importance of acquiring Character Education traits and life-long values and morals as they practice how to be good citizens through art. In addition, we host an annual K-12 art exhibit to highlight each student’s magnificent artistic accomplishments. This year’s event entitled, Night at the Art Museum, showcased students’ creations and also allowed children of all ages to create their own masterpieces as they explored interactive multicultural themed centers. Visitors were also exposed to interactive displays and inspirational costumed characters to witness the art forms coming to life.

        Given the direction, the materials, and the motivation, all of my 600 plus primary students have shown great pride in their art and themselves. All children deserve to be driven to do their best and we, as educators, instill this belief here at Iroquois Schools. Self-esteem at all levels is the priceless gift we can give these children.  Again, I am so proud of all my Kindergarten through Third Grade Students.  You are all a marvel!  

    Written by Susan Lasky K-3 Primary Art Teacher at Elma, Marilla, and Wales Primary