SchoolArts Magazine

March 2018

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 50 of 66

W hat does a STEAM les- son for early primary age children look like? Kindergartners explore their environments, make choices, and can come up with unique solutions to design problems, if they are given the chance to do so. Experimentation and design thinking are embedded in build - ing activities that allow young learners E A R L Y C H I L D H O O D to make connections to their environ- ment while exploring math and engi- neering concepts. They learn to select and use materials for an intended purpose. Keeping the scale of the work small allows students to work at a size that is comfortable for little hands. Previous lessons in this unit involved students using a whiteboard app to practice making shapes in small groups and using a manipulative to explore lines and shapes. Kindergart - ners used shapes to create a collage of a person, place, or thing and identified shapes in their environment. Class Discussion We first looked at the artwork of Lou- ise Nevelson and other artists who work with abstract, assembled forms. During a group discussion, I asked students open-ended questions such as, "What do you notice?" "Where do you think the artist found the objects used in this sculpture?" and "Why would someone make a sculpture like this?" Keeping questions open- ended allows for a range of responses to encourage exploration and derive meaning from the artwork. One activity that took place dur- ing our discussion was an outcome of students' observations when they were having a difference of opinion. Almost the entire class thought the artworks were made of metal and Le Ann Hinkle PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER Kindergartners "shop" for materials to use in their mixed-media structures. 46 MARCH 2018 SchoolArts

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