The assignment:  Create a story where you are put into a situation where you need to explain what arts integration is, why you do it and/or why it’s important.  #artsadvocacy

Mrs. NoTall

My story is a short narrative about a parent volunteer who comes to help out but really has another agenda. Her mind is on what her child is learning in a structured, lecture type scenario. I always welcome parents into my classroom and hope that their intentions are genuine. Let’s see how this parent reacts to my #artsint elevator speech, trying to quiet her concerns about what she is observing as an outsider.

Teacher: Hi Mrs. NoTall! How’s it going? I’m surprised to see you here! You’re not scheduled to volunteer until next week at this time. Did I misread the schedule? Never mind come on in and lend a hand.

Mrs. NoTall: Ms. Fitz, what is going on here? I stood in the doorway for a few minutes before I came in. You aren’t teaching them anything right now. In fact, it looks pretty unstructured and kind of chaotic to tell you the truth. Is this what you call instruction? This is science block. What on earth could little ItTall be learning in this environment?

Teacher: Chuckling….Why Mrs. NoTall I can see what this must look like to the untrained eye …but…if you look closely you will see that each child is using Arts Integration to make their own clay character representing a planet.

We are in the middle stages of this multi-step journey through the solar system. ItTall has done research prior to today and has chosen Mars as his character/planet. He started today’s hands-on activity with a pinch pot technique to make his very own out-of-this-world character. He is sculpting his character and including some of the characteristics of Mars. He has used half the clay needed to make Earth as Mars is about half the size of our Earth.

Each student must somehow incorporate the roman symbol that represents it and as you can see he has one antenna sporting a circle with an arrow pointing to the right. After we bake them he will use color to represent the true colors of his planet. The rest is up to him!

And just in case you pop in another time during science block, don’t be surprised to see the children making comics…using their character.  They will tell a story incorporating three facts about their planet! Feel free to have a seat and make your own….

Mrs. NoTall: Really Ms. Fitzpatrick?  This sounds like so much fun! I love to work with clay. Can I get started right away?

Teacher: Absolutely Mrs. NoTall…after you have done your research of course! Please make sure that you have three facts about your planet. The guidelines about the characteristics that need to be incorporated in making your pinch pot character are on the board. If you have any questions, please let me know!

By: Victoria Fitzpatrick, 2nd Grade Teacher and Repeater Retreater

photo credit: https://stevelaube.com/suspending-disbelief/

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