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One of Provost Elementary’s most unique attributes is the way that they teach art. Along with more traditional art classes, teachers are encouraged to bring art into their everyday teaching and this is exactly what is happening in Mrs. Larsen’s first grade class.
Mrs. Larsen teaches about flowers and impressionism through having her class paint tulips. The project started out with a parent volunteer explaining to the students the meaning of “impressionism”. She talked about the blurred lines, the vibrant colors and the overall feeling of impressionist art. Then, using a painting by famous impressionist painter Renoir titled “Tulips in a Vase”, she began to instruct the students on how to create their own paintings of tulips. The first step was to create the tulips. The class took out their own oil-based crayons to draw tulips on their paper. Next, they worked on making a vase, stems and finally a table. Once all of the outlining was complete, the students were able to select which color to fill in their empty tulips. While the students worked, Mrs. Larsen and her parent volunteer went around the room to answer questions.
While painting tulips is fun and relaxing, that was not the main point of the activity. This project was part of their “Great Artist” program. The artist for today was Renoir and the tulips helped tie in with the overall theme of spring that the students have been reading and writing about throughout the past week. The tulips helped the students gain inspiration and, after the activity was complete, they discussed different aspects of their paintings so they could get ideas for future spring-themed writing prompts.
Mrs. Larsen prepared an engaging and inspiring lesson for her first grade class. Using creativity as a tool to learn allows for her students to draw connections that will help them to better understand key concepts.