Art galleries are a great resource for young learners, but often teachers can feel quite daunted at the prospect of visiting them! One of our goals in Te Papa Education is to build teacher knowledge, skill, and confidence in engaging and responding to art with young children, and so, on Saturday 1st March, we held our first ECE Professional Development session. This was led by the wonderful Lisa Terreni, Visual Arts specialist and Senior Lecturer at Victoria University.
We started our morning by taking a line for a walk, experimenting with three different types of media: pencils, vivid markers, and charcoal. We used ‘line’ words to describe our work, such as wavy, broken, zig zag, thick, thin and cross hatching. Every journey was quite different. This was followed by a very interesting theory lecture by Lisa.
We moved upstairs to Nga Toi | Arts Te Papa on Level 5, where Lisa led us in a guided exercise with Colin McCahon’s Walk (Series C), 1973 . We had a good look at the artwork and walked it’s length. We imagined we were inside the painting – asking what did we see, hear, smell, taste and touch? We talked about the limited palette the artist had used in his work. We even made up a story that spanned the 14 panels of the work!
We applied what had learnt through group work in the This is Trekka and The WOW Factor exhibitions. Teachers came up with some excellent ideas for pre-visit and post-visit activities relating to both these exhibitions. Screen printing onto cardboard boxes, having a mobilo exhibition, and making felt were among some of my favourites.
Back in the classroom, we created our own art responses to Walk (Series C) using a range of black and white media, including paint, chalk and crayon.
When we had finished we lined the art works up down the centre of the room and made one long piece. It was so long we captured it by video!
It was a wonderful experience for all with a lot of valuable learning. Thank you to all of our participants – I look forward to seeing you and your tamariki (children) in the galleries soon!
Our next Visual Culture and Visual Arts session is fully booked too, but we still have places in our Early Years Matariki PD session on the 10th of May.