rdannen’s blog

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Ten Lessons Arts Teach

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 2:47 pm on Friday, March 27, 2009

This article talks about why teaching children about the arts is so important for their growth.  Not only does art help build their creativity, but they also learn techniques for everyday life.  For example, the arts teaches children that problems can have more than one solution and there are multiple perspectives, which is something that children should always be aware of.  There is no standardization of solution or any kind of uniformity of responses in the arts and children can take that information with them all throughout life.  The arts also teaches children how to think through and within a material.  This helps children expand their mind and think critically.  Basically what the author is saying is that through art children can have experiences that help them discover a range of what they are capable of feeling  and the arts contribute to the growth of children’s minds.  It is important for art lessons to be taught by skilled teachers who take time to teach the children art correctly.  I think the article is does a good job of explaining the importance of children learning art and the author brings up points that I never thought about before.

Portfolio Piece #6

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 7:11 pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I did lesson # 23 (review of line-using line to create the illusion of form) where I created a picture of my hand with an illusion of form.  I had to use contour lines to create the form of my hand.  This activity teaches children the technique needed to create the illusion of depth.  They also have the ability to explore contour lines.  It was an easy activity and I think the product turned out good.  The picture is interesting to look at and children will like making something like this without spending a bunch of time on it.

Portfolio Piece #5

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 7:09 pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I did lesson #11 (red grass and orange sky- and opposite picture) where I had to create a picture on one half of a paper  and color the objects with their complimentary colors.  When the picture was finished, I stared at the colored half of the paper and then stare at the white side of the paper until the image appeared with the normal colors (green grass, blue sky…).  This is an activity that children can do to reinforce their knowledge about complimentary colors.  It was interesting to see the picture on the white side with normal colors and I think children would like doing an activity like this.  I can see myself using this activity in my classroom because not only does it involve learning, but it is also a fun activity.

Portfolio piece #4

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 7:48 pm on Monday, March 16, 2009


I did lesson #26 (Review of Form and Paper Houses) where I had to create a 3D house.  This lesson teaches the children how to fold paper into a form that is attractive from all sides.  The activity was not hard and I think it helps children understand that you can see objects from all sides, not just the front.  This is an activity that I would use in my classroom during a lesson about form, but I could also create different buildings from other cultures to incorporate a history lesson.

Bringing Children to Art- Bringing Art to Children and the trip to the museum

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 8:08 pm on Sunday, March 1, 2009

The article Bringing Children to Art- Bringing Art to Children, is about the importance of art in children’s life. The aricle first talked about being in the museum for teaching and learning.  The author states how critical it is for children to be around the original works of art to view the art firsthand.  Being in the museum encourages them to see the work of art from multiple perspectives and it enhances the communication with the children.  I think having children around works of art will expand their learning and understand of art.  Another way to help the children appreciate art is to bring the art to them.  The author explains the idea of portable children’s museums where children can use their previous museum experiences to create a museum of their own.  This helps them make artwork relatable to their everyday life in any way that they want to.  The idea of portable children’s museums gives students access to the artwork between visits to the museum and helps them make connections with art to other subjects that they already know.  I thought the article was successful in explaining the importance of children being able to access art in different ways.  The author stated key points in helping children expand on their previous knowledge of art and I think anyone becoming a teacher should read this article.

After taking a trip to the museum, I can see why the author thinks museums are an important part of children’s life.  Not only are they educational for the children’s growth, but they are also interesting to explore.  That was the first time I had been to a museum and I actually enjoyed it.  I think I will go to a museum again and I will definitely take my class on a field trip to a museum.

Portfolio Piece #3

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 7:44 pm on Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I did lesson #28 (Geometric Shape) which was making a colorful design using geometric shapes. This activity was time consuming, but I thought it was a good activity to help teach children about positive and negative shape.  The activity also helped children with their geometric shapes and their small muscle control.  I think the activity turned out good and it was fun making.  I would definatly use this activity in my classroom with an older group of children.

Teaching Art with Books Kids Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 3:42 pm on Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I like the book that was required for this class, Teaching Art with Books Kids Love.  I thought the author did a good job of simplifying everything so that anyone could read the book and understand what the author was talking about.  Every section starts out with a definition of the topic and then there are several examples following.  Within each section, there are fine art examples and children’s literature examples and then explorations.  Every section talks about the different popular books that relate to the certain topic and there are projects that the children can do that go along with the book.  All of the projects are well written and easy to follow.  Most of the project ideas are accompanied by pictures, too.  The book gives really good ideas of what activities will help children understand each element of art and most of the activities are not too challenging for children to complete.  There are even examples of how to hook the children into the activity.  Overall, I really liked the book and I think it is a good resource to have to help children understand art without a lecture.  I will probably keep this book to use during my years of teaching.

Portfolio Piece #2

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 6:32 pm on Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I did lesson 44 (paper bag puppets) as a way of reviewing form, dimension, and depth.  I though this was an important activity because children like puppets and this is a way for them to creatively design their own puppets.  This activity also helps reinforce the concept of form because the students have to do all sides.  In real life, backsides are not blank and that is important for children to understand.  I liked the activity even though I am terrible at making realistic animals!

Art Education 244

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 6:57 pm on Sunday, January 18, 2009

From the article Understanding The Visual Language Of Picturebooks, I have learned more about the importance of pictures in picturebooks.  I always knew that the pictures helped children get into the book more and understand the words visually, but I never thought about how much the pictures tie the book together.  Catalano describes that the purpose of the illustrations in Where The Wild Things Are  and The Polar Express is to help readers have a better understanding of how the story is set up.  The illustrations explain the text and add more to what the author is trying to say.  For example, in Where The Wild Things Are the illustrations help the reader realize the events that lead up to the characters actions and the wild things themselves rely on their visual appearance to show the children that they are not scary and harmful creatures.  With The Polar Express, the illustrations set the stage for the Christmas Eve that many people remember.  Catalano also explains that the illustrations show narrative without actually reading words and usually have a deeper meaning.  People should take the time to create a deeper investigation of books pictures, but they also need to know when the appropriate time for children to make those connections is.  I thought the article gave a better insight to the importance of pictures in picturebooks and I will now dive deeper into the pictures and not just the text.

Portfolio Piece #1

Filed under: Uncategorized — rdannen at 6:05 pm on Sunday, January 18, 2009

I did lesson 15 (black crayon on white paper) which is out of the value section.  I chose to do this lesson because I feel like it is important to teach children the concept of a value slowly going from dark to light or gradation.  This lesson helps the children learn by actually doing it and I think that “doing” is important when children are learning.  Children can simply look at objects and draw how they see the shadows of the object.  This helps children understand shadows and how to create them on paper.