SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2012

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 31 of 56

Early Childhood Studio Lesson A CirCle of FrieNdS Janis Doukakis W hen an unlimited amount of free 8 x 10" (20 x 25 cm) canvas was offered to all of the schools in our community to participate in the city's the Color of Friendship art competition last fall, I saw a wonderful opportunity for my students at Cedarcreek Elementary. I was excited to return to the artroom with armfuls of canvas, not yet knowing what I would do with them. After some thought, the idea of combining poetry with the contest's rich theme seemed like a good one. I came across a poem called "A Circle of Friends" (author unknown) and the idea began to come together. A Circle of Friends We've joined together as classmates as the new year begins, a year full of learning while we become friends. We'll share and be kind as we work and we play, And our friendship will grow with each passing day. Joining Hands Publicly spotlighting and honorThat Friday, my after-school art ing student artwork may be the most class of first, second, and third gradpowerful and convincing form of art ers eagerly created colorful collages advocacy. To see the glow of confiof themselves with their arms outdence, pride, and satisfaction on the stretched on the canvases. They used faces of students, parents, and educaacrylic paint, coltors is proof enough ored tissue paper, of the importance of Publicly spotlighting scraps of yarn, feaththe arts and public and honoring student ers, glitter, doilies, artwork may be the most art events. Taking buttons, and beads. advantage of opporpowerful and convincing tunities that allow We collaged the form of art advocacy. poem onto a sepachildren to express rate canvas, then themselves and be created our literal "Circle of Friends" recognized is a very meaningful deed by hinging the edges of all seventeen to pursue as an art teacher. canvases together, forming an upright Janis Doukakis is a teaching artist at circle of hand-holding friends for Cedarcreek Elementary School in Santa tabletop presentation. Clarita, California. The Winner's Circle I entered our effort into the Color of Friendship competition as one piece and we won first place! When the mayor presented the award, all seventeen of my students stepped up to the stage to receive the honor. They shared the $300 cash prize as friends. NatioNal StaNdard Students explore and understand prospective content for works of art. Web liNk =29529 29

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