SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 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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AdvocAcy Create an Arts Café! tions. Holiday-style lighting is added to enhance the environment, background music is chosen, and student-created slide shows or videos are presented. In the past, the café venue has featured papier-mâché columns and cutpaper mosaics for a Roman café, brush painting and calligraphy for a Chinese café, and papier-mâché vases and architectural drawings for a Greek café. In fact, the program has relied on many lesson ideas collected throughout the years from SchoolArts. Elizabeth Bowles W Student teams are tasked with teachorcester Academy's ing an additional assigned fact about sixth-grade arts rotation has, in addition to visual geese to the rest of the class using their choice of arts methods and a variety of art, music and drama, provided materials. a course we call "arts café." Now in its tenth year, the hands-on interdiscichoosing a cultural Topic plinary course connects social studies Once a foundation for teamwork has themes with art, English, math, combeen established, students brainstorm puter skills, and cooking. about a cultural The basic idea topic, focusing is the creation of a Ultimately, the café theme restaurant provides the opportunity to on the people, places, and things that opens for one reinforce skills taught in the that express the day to serve the classroom and apply them theme culture. parents of the stuThis process, as to real-world situations. dents involved, as well as additional well as the rest of research, results in an "idea bank," the grade-six classes. Ultimately, the from which student teams draw as café provides the opportunity to reinforce skills taught in the classroom and they move ahead with the creation of their restaurant. apply them to real-world situations. The concept of teamwork is introMaking Aesthetic choices duced through a dramatic arts activDécor is an important element of the ity we call "silly goose," which is café program. Color schemes appropriintroduced on the first day of class by ate to the culture are chosen, and stua team of two teachers who present a dents create placemats, menu covers, puppet show that teaches about geese centerpieces, signage, and wall decoraand their excellent teamwork skills. Practical considerations The business concepts of cost, overhead, and mark-up are discussed. Students are tasked with calculating portion costs, considering mark-up and profit, and arriving at a menu price. Students learn to take orders, calculate meal tax, complete guest checks, and make change. Students take on a variety of roles in preparation for café day. Each student serves as a waiter during one shift and a kitchen worker or host in another. Parent and faculty volunteers provide the food for the café day itself. Embarking on this type of class takes a bit of planning and courage, but the rewards are great. Students love this experience, and it is a fond memory for our middle-school families. A basic course map with a breakdown of the day-to-day lesson plans, the "silly goose" handouts, and worksheets are all available upon request from my e-mail address below. The course map and attached documents are the result of collaboration between my Worcester Academy colleagues, Eliza Hale and Peg McCarthy, and myself. Elizabeth Bowles is an art teacher at Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts. elizabeth.bowles@worcesteracademy.org. NatioNal StaNdard Students make connections between visual arts and other disciplines. Web liNk www.worcesteracademy.org 12 August/September 2012 SchoolArts

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