THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT IN VISUAL ARTS & THE VISUAL WORKSHOP IN THE CLASSROOM
The following suggested design responds to specific key words: collaboration among children, teacher-children collaboration, critical thinking, family & School (category I), creativity, inclusion-diversity (category II), artful-art based, expressiveness, assessment, events (category III
To observe their natural environment and derive information from it in relevance to the paintings they observed.
To use in their oral speech some simple terms of art (i.e., landscapes, background, brushes, shade).
To recognise that each artist expresses himself/herself through art in his/her own way, colours, shapes, forms, by making a comparison with themselves and what and how they like to paint.
To examine what an art workshop consists of (space, materials) and to get familiar with the works of male and female painters.
To formulate and justify their opinions.
Demonstrate confidence when they engage with tasks that involve the expression through visual arts and being able to explain their creations.
To experiment with different materials and colors when drawing or painting.
To create visual representations with other materials, i.e., plasticine, collage.
To associate their creations with the concepts of satisfaction and pleasure.
To recognize art as a means of expression to which we all people have equal access.
To respect the opinion of their classmates and to be equally involved in the process of dialogue with each other and with their kindergarten teacher.
To participate within the group to carry out their action, leaving room for their classmates to express themselves and create.
Observing and assessing paintings which have as a theme a season (i.e., autumn)
The children observe 2 paintings and assess them by comparing a) the subject matter, b) the colours and c) the technique. They come to conclusions and give titles to the works. They search for relevant information and the title of the works online and compare their own study/conclusions with the information they have collected. They relate the representations in the paintings to their physical environment. They identify similarities and differences. They come to a conclusion about what the painters wanted to convey and how they conveyed it.
Exploring the workshop of visual artists/painters
We guide the discussion by questioning: "What materials do we draw with at school?" "What do painters need to create their paintings?" for children to make assumptions and look for information about the painters' workshop. We are conducting an online art workshop visit. The children discuss, compare their materials and practices with those of painters and conclude that they too have the ability to create paintings. They decide to rename the visual arts corner to art workshop and play the role of the painter.
Visual art creations
"How are we going to depict our natural environment in autumn?" We investigate children's opinions, record them and co-decide with them either through discussion or voting. The children are divided into groups, choose materials and undertake to visually render and in a different way per group the fall, i.e., painting realistically, painting abstractly, painting a landscape or a still life. They present their works in plenary. They explain and justify their choices. They compare their themes and style and decide to exhibit their works in the school. They also have to present their creations.
Presentation of children's works of art for everyone
For the exhibition of their works they need to make decisions. They discuss their relevant experiences and/or process relevant audio-visual material (physical/material and digital). They decide on the appropriate space in the kindergarten and expose their creations to their families. They also decide to collaborate and write (out loud as much as they can or with the contribution of the kindergarten teacher in the role of writer) their presentations. We guide the discussion with the question "what if someone doesn't know or can't read?", "what if someone can't see?". The children discuss, seek for solutions, identify the way museums address the visually impaired and decide to audio-record the description of their painting and the concept behind its creation.
Assessment of the intervention
The assessment of the intervention focuses both on the outcome and the process. It takes place in the form of a plenary debate where the kindergarten teacher and children participate equally. The discussion focuses on the 'what' and the 'how'. Emphasis is placed upon the way decisions are made, the type and content of the activities, the materials used and the concept of cooperation in groups. Materials/outcomes are selected to enrich children's portfolios. Children’s families who were the audience of the presentation can also be involved in the assessment (i.e., through an interview that the children will prepare with their kindergarten teacher).