Connecting with a Museum Exhibit

The following was written by Marcy Berkowitz and Nicole Simpson, Early Kindergarten teachers:

Being housed in the Portland Children's Museum has many more benefits and opportunities than playing in the great exhibits and studios after school. One such opportunity came our way already this year with the opening of the Chagall for Children exhibit. We were invited by the museum to play with the ideas Chagall exhibits in his work; to be playful, as he was, with lines and colors inspired by nature. 

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After taking a hike to one of our favorite places,the running space, in the Arboretum, we offered children the experience of using India ink to make the lines of the running space. They made footprints lines and hill lines, tree lines and lines that showed how they moved when they ran down the hill. 

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O: I'm making a footprint.

K: Look how long this line is.

O: It looks like this when I go down the hill.

E: I'm making footprints

O: If I turn it around it's like a street sweeper.

L: Its a fairy. She is confused because she doesn't know where to fly. She lives in the trees…

E: I made the dirt pile with the tree coming out of it, mole holes and some people running down the hill and ME running down the hill.

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K: This is a ladder to get acorns down from the trees.

E: Look how thin the lines are with the little brush. In this one I'm running down bumpy.

K: This one is straight up like the trees. This is a circle surrounding a bunch of acorns.

O: That's what its like when I'm running down the hill.

E: This is all of the running space and are you ready to see me running? I have to connect the running space to me.

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We then offered the children liquid water colors with colors that Chagall used often in his paintings. We looked together at some works of Chagall and shared about the playful way that he used color in his paintings. The students laughed and exclaimed over the green faces and the yellow and orange violin.

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Their final paintings are finished, and they are full of color, story and life. They are hanging in the gallery right at the beginning of the exhibit. We hope you come and take a look! 

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2 Comments

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  • I would like to know where and which kind of watercolor brushes were being offered for the children. Thank you for sharing!

    Rising Star Chinese School Reply
  • Hi, Rising Star Chinese School –
    As I think this collection of photos illustrate, we use a range of brushes with even the youngest artists so that they have a sense of the affordances of each. Providing that variety – and using the highest quality materials we can afford – supports thoughtful, intentional engagement.
    Did I answer your question? What have been your experiences with young children and watercolor brushes?
    Matt

    Matt Karlsen Reply

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