Saturday, January 30, 2010

Norman Rockwell - End Notes

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.

Doing this blog series, showed me the possibilities of Norman Rockwell’s paintings. The expanse of Rockwell’s works seem limitless – what an amazing collection of masterpieces. They always entertain and always bring emotion to me. I smile, I smirk, I swell up with tears. Each painting has its own story and everyone can find their own collection of Rockwells that truly speak to them.

It is my hope that other teachers will continue to try some of these ideas out and also share their experiences and ideas. For the complete blog series, click the "Norman Rockwell" tab.

So, look out for old calendars, prints and resources online and create displays so that students can enjoy a piece of Americana while learning!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Activity 7 Cause and Effect

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell” when accessing the Magazine on this site.

You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!

Muse Away!

ACTIVITYCause and Effect

We see cause and effect everywhere around us and it can also be seen in a snapshot moment of a Norman Rockwell painting. An effect is what happens. A cause is why it happens. With a little prompting, students will be able to identify these within the situation of the painting.

Procedure:

1. Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.

2. Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt that allows them to find details that lend themselves to cause or effect. For example:

  • What is happening in the painting?
  • What do you think caused that to happen?
  • What will happen next as a result of that action?

3. Assist students in completing a t-chart that has cause and effect as the titles of the two columns. Sometimes you will fill out the left side first and other times you will fill out the right side first.

4. After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.

Worksheet link: http://theinspiredclassroom.com/Rockwell%20cause%20effect.pdf

Implementation Ideas: (review)

  • Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
  • Give students a copy to use in small groups.
  • Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
  • Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
  • Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.

Extensions and Variations:

  • Ask students to change the situation of the painting. A student states a cause and then says how that will effect the situation. For example, a student may state, “I will throw a ball at the boy.” The effect may be, “The boy will try and catch the ball and will drop the bottle in his hand.”
  • Do the reverse of the above extension. Have a student state an effect and then state what could cause that effect to happen. For example, if the effect is, “The girl hits that boy,” the cause may be, “The boy pinched the girl.”

Final Blog in this Series (due out on Saturday January 30, 2010) – Wrapping it All Up

Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Activity 6 - Character Studies

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.
You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!

Muse Away!

ACTIVITY – Character Studies
Norman Rockwell paintings are perfect for character studies. Each painting has at least one character that draws you into their story with their position, expression and action. With the right prompts, you can talk about one character for quite some time.

Procedure:

1. Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.

2. Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt that allows them to find details in the character. For example:
• What do you know about this situation by looking at the painting?
• What can you conclude from the expression on this character’s face?
• What can you tell about the character by his/her body language?
• What might this character be saying?
• What might this character be thinking?
• What would be a good name for this character? Why?

3. Ask students to complete the sentence starters from the worksheet to deepen their ideas of
the characters

4. After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.
Worksheet link:
http://theinspiredclassroom.com/Rockwell%20character%20studies.pdf

Implementation Ideas: (review)
• Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
• Give students a copy to use in small groups.
• Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
• Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
• Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.

Extensions and Variations:
• Ask students to practice their quote writing skills by having students write a monologue of what the character is saying or a dialogue between characters in the painting.
• Practice point of view by asking students to write a short story about the situation in the painting from the character’s point of view.
• After students have completed the worksheet, ask them to put the character into a new situation or story. You could put the character into another NR painting. Ask students to elaborate on the new situation or story with the character they are studying.

Next Blog (due out on Thursday, January 28, 2010) – Activity 8 - Cause and Effect

Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Our Own Interpretations

It is fortunate that the blog series this month has been centered around the visual art of Norman Rockwell since it has coincided with our teacher field trip to a most wonderful museum in Boston – the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Though none of his works are in this museum, the ideas of viewing, appreciating and enjoying art seems to be the main focus within the museum as well as the basis for all the Rockwell activities in this series. Another thing to point out is that all the activities found in the series can be adapted to ANY piece of work – for it is in looking closely at and studying visual pieces, be they paintings, sculptures or pictures, you can become more observant, more thoughtful and more gratified in your experience.

The trip to the museum was wonderful, but this blog is not about that, instead it is meant to be about our own interpretations of art. Quite frankly, the best part about Gardner’s museum is that the emphasis is not on art history or the artists, it is on us – the public, the viewers and appreciators of art. We are there to enjoy, experience and interpret in our own ways. This is the most unique part about art, all art. There is an artist and there is the receiver of the art. We all bring to art our own experiences and interpret what we see and hear in different ways than those around us.


And that is OKAY!

Yes, there is a story behind every piece of artwork, but that story is not the same for all those who experience the art. And the story the artist envisions is simply not exactly or consistently what we receive. It is in these personal interpretations that we can deepen our own thinking and, if experienced with others, can create a new community among people as we share a piece of art. There is a story in the piece, but it’s ok if you don’t get it. Just the experience itself, if you give yourself the chance to have it, is enough. It is much more about looking, observing and making connections.

So, how can this be applied to us in our teaching? Allow yourself to be a receiver of art and share that with your children and students. Encourage searching in a piece, encourage observations and questions. Through these observations, allow students to draw conclusions and make predictions, and question some more. These are real life strategies and they can be practiced and refined through the arts!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Activity 5 – Making Predictions

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.

You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!

Muse Away!

ACTIVITYMaking Predictions

Another skill students can practice while enjoying, studying and appreciating works by Norman Rockwell is making predictions. When examining the stories within the paintings, we not only figure out what the painting means to us in that moment, we continue the story. If we give ourselves time to do this, we find ourselves using the same skills as in making predictions in reading.

Procedure:

1. Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.

2. Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt that allows them to find the details and facts that will help them make a prediction. For example:

  • What do you know about this situation by looking at the painting?
  • What are your observations?
  • Let’s list some facts found in this painting.
  • What are some details you notice in this picture?
  • Out of our list/brainstorm of observations, what facts can we group together to help us form a valid prediction of what will happen next?

3. Write three facts and/or details in a graphic organizer like the one on the worksheet and discuss what prediction you might make about the painting.

4. After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.

Worksheet link: http://theinspiredclassroom.com/Rockwell%20make%20prediction.pdf

Implementation Ideas: (review)

  • Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
  • Give students a copy to use in small groups.
  • Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
  • Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
  • Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.

Extensions and Variations:

  • Arrange the paintings around the room and ask students to find two paintings to use to make predictions. Students will roam the room, locating two paintings they enjoy. Once they do, they write down the title of the piece and complete one half of the worksheet. Then they continue to the next painting.
  • If students are using different paintings, have them write their prediction on a strip of paper. Display all the paintings, have the student or group state their prediction and ask the other students to match the prediction to the painting.
  • Have students use their predictions to make the title of the painting that would be the next scene. For an additional challenge, ask them to draw the next scene that they predicted.

Painting suggestions for kids: Lion and His Keeper, Prom Dress, Swatter’s Rights, Missing Tooth, The Graduate, The Babysitter, Tough One, The Gift

Next Blog (due out on Saturday, January 23, 2010) – Our Own Interpretations

Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Activity 4 Drawing Conclusions

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.

You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!

Muse Away!

ACTIVITYDrawing Conclusions

Drawing conclusions, making inference, these are difficult skills for students. Here is one way to approach the learning and practicing of it with the paintings of Norman Rockwell.

Procedure:

1. Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.

2. Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt that allows them to find the details and facts that will help them make an inference. For example:

  • What do you know about this situation by looking at the painting?
  • What are your observations?
  • Let’s list some facts found in this painting.
  • What are some details you notice in this picture?
  • Out of our list/brainstorm of observations, what facts can we group together to help us form a valid opinion about this painting?

3. Write three facts and/or details in a graphic organizer like the one on the worksheet and discuss what conclusion you might draw about the painting. Then explain that this opinion you have formed is your conclusion. It is not something that was found directly in the painting, but is your own opinion that can be supported by the details in the painting.

4. After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.

Worksheet link: http://theinspiredclassroom.com/worksheets/Rockwell%20draw%20conclusion.pdf


Implementation Ideas: (review)

  • Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
  • Give students a copy to use in small groups.
  • Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
  • Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
  • Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.

Extensions and Variations:

  • Arrange the paintings around the room and ask students to find two paintings to use to draw conclusions. Students will roam the room, locating two paintings they enjoy. Once they do, they write down the title of the piece and complete one half of the worksheet. Then they continue to the next painting.
  • If students are using different paintings, have them write their conclusion on a strip of paper. Display all the paintings, have the student or group state their conclusion and ask the other students to match the conclusion to the painting.
  • Don’t reveal the title of the pieces beforehand. Instead, number the pictures and have the students do the activity. Then, ask students to use their conclusions to help them come up with a title for the painting. Share and then compare their titles to the ones Rockwell gave. Ask: How did your conclusions help you to come up with a title? How does your title compare to the one Rockwell gave?

Painting suggestions for kids: The Diary, After the Prom, Four Sporting Boys Oh Yeah, Sheer Agony, Clown, Moving In, Losing the Game, Child Psychology, Tough One

Next Blog (due out on Thursday, January 21, 2010) – Activity 6 Making Predictions

Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Why Practice Reading Skills Away from Reading?

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.
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There are many reasons to bring Norman Rockwell and other artists into your classroom. Here are a three to consider:


1. Reading Skills are Really Real Life Skills

Many of these activities are based on the skills my students are learning through their reading series which includes reading, writing and grammar. They get plenty of traditional instruction in these areas through the use of the prescribed materials. However, I believe it is important for students to learn these skills outside of the normal paper and pencil assignments. That is real life!

For example, we all form facts and opinions about the world around us, not just as we read a non-fiction text; we draw conclusions each time we take in the situation around us; we tell stories about events in our life. Many times we don’t even realize that we are using these skills, but we are! And these are skills that need practice. After all, our job is to teach our students the skill itself as well as how to apply it to their reading and writing.

2. A New Opportunity to Practice

By taking the time to present an arts-inspired activity that is based on these reading skills, we are allowing students a new opportunity to practice them. We are giving them new experiences to build on and a chance to share their understanding of the skills they are trying to master. It may be easier for a child to explain what is in a painting than what is inferred in words they find hard to read.


3. Taking Time to See the Details

One of the most beneficial outcomes of doing an activity where students study and respond to a piece of artwork is that they start to learn the importance of taking the time to look carefully at something. There is much more to be seen than what we see in only the first glance. This can be carried over into the importance of reading and rereading; looking back in the text for answers and support. Giving students the opportunity to look and look again is only reinforcing the idea that it is ok to stay with something for more than a moment.

Connecting the Activity Back to Reading

Once your students have practiced these skills it is important to connect it back to their literacy. Explain to them that when they look back in the text, they are simply looking for more details - just like when you take the time to look at a painting; when you take what you know from the text and make your own judgements, you are drawing conclusions about a story - just like when you formed opinions about the situation in the painting. This is the final step and what makes these activities a source of true integration.

Next Blog (due out on Tuesday, January 19, 2010) – Drawing Conclusions – Activity and Worksheet.

Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of these ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Activity 3 Storytelling

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.


You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!


Muse Away!

ACTIVITYStorytelling

Each of Rockwell’s paintings, undoubtedly tell a story. The characters, setting and plot are all there. Often the story blows through our mind in a moment and we move on to the next thing. But what might come of it if we stayed with a painting for longer and thought about the details of the picture, the expressions on the characters’ faces, the action in the scene? Well, a lot!


Use the NR Storytelling worksheet to help your students (and you) focus in on a painting and find the elements of a story. Fill it in and use it for a discussion or do one of the extension ideas.


Procedure: (review/short version)

  1. Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.
  2. Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt that allows them to find the elements of the story. For example:
  • What is going on in the painting?
  • Where is this taking place?
  • Who is present in the picture?
  • What are the characters thinking?
  • What might they be saying?
  • Is there a problem here?
  • What happened before this scene?
  • What is going to happen next?
  1. After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.

Worksheet link: http://theinspiredclassroom.com/Rockwell%20storytelling.pdf


Implementation Ideas: (review)

  • Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
  • Give students a copy to use in small groups.
  • Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
  • Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
  • Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.


Extensions and Variations:

  • Have students use their worksheets to help them tell the story orally to a peer, a small group or to the class.
  • Display all the paintings used. Ask students to tell their story and have the other students figure out which painting was the inspiration.
  • Use the worksheet as a story plan and have students write out the story according to your directions.
  • Pick paintings that relate to a particular season, event or holiday. For example, choose a Christmas themed painting in December, a patriotic painting in time for Memorial Day, a family centered one for around Thanksgiving such as Freedom from Want, or for this month, use School Girl with U.S. Marshals as we observe Martin Luther King Day.


Other painting suggestions for kids: A Day in the Life of a Girl http://img.allposters.com/6/LRG/7/789/LJEI000Z.jpg and A Day in the Life of a Boy. http://img.allposters.com/6/LRG/7/789/VJEI000Z.jpg These two paintings tell a story in mini pictures.


Next Blog (due out on Saturday, January 16, 2010) – Why Practice Reading Skills Away from Reading?


Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Activity 2 Fact & Opinion

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.

You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!

Muse Away!

ACTIVITYFact and Opinion

In this activity, students will need to search for details in the paintings that can be stated as facts and opinions. You can be as simplistic or complex as you want with this activity. Here are some examples:

For facts, students may make simple statements such as, “Her shirt is red,” or, “The dog is barking.” In time, you may challenge students to search for statements that would need to be proven or disproven with more research. For example, using Rockwell’s painting Mysterious Malady, a statement might be, “The boy is pouring water into the spoon,”or, “The boy is pouring medicine into the spoon.” In either case, you are stating a fact, but the type of liquid the boy is pouring would need to be researched and the statement determined true or false.

Opinions may be found within the painting (from a character's point of view) or you may find that you are making opinions about the painting. Taking the painting Mysterious Malady again, an opinion may be, "The dog needs my help," or "The boy is acting rediculous." Opinions the viewer may have about the painting could be, “The boy is a caring person,” “Caring for your dog is important,” “Dogs should have a box to sleep in when they are tired,” “Stools are not comfortable to sit on,” or, “Suspenders make you look cool!”

You can get into more complexity with opinions when talking about valid and invalid opinions. For example, the statement, “The boy is a good caregiver,” could be supported with evidence in the painting that would make it a valid opinion. An opinion such as, “The fierce dog is waiting to make his move on the boy,” is invalid since there is little in the painting that would support the idea that the dog is fierce.

Procedure: (review/short version)

  1. Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.
  2. Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt depending on what activity you are doing.
  3. After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.

Worksheet link: http://theinspiredclassroom.com/Rockwell%20fact%20opinion.pdf

Implementation Ideas: (review from last activity)

  • Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
  • Give students a copy to use in small groups.
  • Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
  • Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
  • Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.

Extensions and Variations:

  • Have students write statements (facts and opinions) on one side of the t-chart, give it to a peer and have that person write in the second column whether the statement is a fact or opinion.
  • Have students write their statements on separate strips of paper. Students hand their pile to a peer and have them sort the statements into facts and opinions.
  • If individual or small groups of students are writing facts and opinions for the same painting, have them compare papers or piles of statements.
  • If individuals or small groups of students are writing facts and opinions for different paintings, try having students match the statements to the painting. Display all the paintings used. Put all the statements from all the groups into a pile, pull a statement and have students guess which painting the statement is referring to as well as if it is a fact or opinion.
  • If all students’ or groups’ statements are in a pile, redistribute the statements randomly and have groups of students sort the statements into two piles or columns: facts and opinions.

Next Blog (due out on Thursday, January 14, 2010) – Next activity and worksheet to use – Storytelling

Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Introducing Rockwell into Your Classroom

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.

Norman Rockwell is one of my personal favorites. I love the way he can capture facial expressions, tell a story in one scene and make me stop and think about the human spirit in all of us. And he seems to do this with every painting: young subjects and old, busy paintings with a lot of detail and simpler ones lain across a blank background. His works also seem to captivate all generations. They are timeless because of the way they tell stories about the joys and dilemmas of every age group, which is one reason why they are great studies for in the classroom.

So who is Norman Rockwell? Just as we may take a moment to read the short biography of an author whose book we enjoy, it is worth our time to do the same with the man who reaches us with his paintings. Here are a few interesting tid bits to share with your students about how he began his career as an artist.

  • He was born in New York City in 1894.
  • He always wanted to be an artist.
  • He started art classes at age 14
  • At age 16, he was commissioned to paint four Christmas cards.
  • Not long after, Boys’ Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, hired Rockwell as art director.
  • At age 21, his family moved to New Rochelle, NY.
  • There he set up a studio and submitted work for a variety of magazines, including Life, Literary Digest, and Country Gentleman.
  • A year later, he painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post
  • He continued working for the Post for 47 years and created 321 covers!

Visit this source for more biographical information: http://www.nrm.org/about-2/about-norman-rockwell/

Now, let's look at some steps you can take to introduce Rockwell into your classroom:

  1. Place a few paintings around the room, in a spot on your wall, in a center or as a screen saver or slide show on a computer. Your students will naturally be drawn in to a few select paintings of kids (Marble Champion), dogs (A Boy and His Dog) and interesting situations (Swatter's Rights). Just search Google images using the key words “Norman Rockwell” and anything to see what you can find. For example: Norman Rockwell, kids
  2. Once you have some students’ attention, gather them together for 5-10 minutes to look at a painting as a class. You can even do this during morning meeting or snack time.
  3. Show the painting to your class (hard copy or on a computer screen) and ask them to talk about it by either sharing one person at a time or with an elbow buddy sitting next to them.
  4. Here are some questions you might ask:
    • What do you see?
    • What is going on?
    • What is the setting?
    • Who are the characters?
    • What do they feel?
    • What do you think of when you look at this?
    • What are some details you notice?
    • What are some surprises you see?
  5. After a short time, let the students know that they will be looking at other paintings by the painter who did this one, Norman Rockwell.
  6. Take a moment to tell them a little bit about Rockwell and preview other paintings you have.

Even if you only use his paintings once or twice throughout the year in your classroom, think about how this 5-10 minutes will make a lasting impression, especially if you keep Rockwell paintings available for your students to look at.

Exposing your students to this piece of Americana is a great way to promote the arts in your classroom.

Without thinking too much about it in specific terms, I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed.
Norman Rockwell

Next Blog (due out on Tues, January 12, 2010) – Next Activity and worksheet to use - Fact and Opinion

Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Activity 1 Parts of Speech

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.

You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!

Muse Away!

ACTIVITY Parts of speech –

Practicing the parts of speech can become a chore with traditional worksheets. And it’s important for students to understand that parts of speech are everywhere, not just on weekly papers. Using some of Rockwell’s beloved paintings to help students develop and review their knowledge of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs can be an entertaining and interesting twist to a traditional task.

Materials:

Procedure:

1. Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.

2. Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt depending on what part(s) of speech you are studying or reviewing.

a. “We know a lot about what a noun is – a person, place or thing – now, let’s see if you can locate nouns in this painting.”

b. “We have been studying both nouns and verbs. There are many examples of nouns and verbs in this painting. Look closely and see if you can locate some nouns and verbs.”

c. “You have begun study on adjectives. Now I want to see how many adjectives you can notice in this painting.” Students offer suggestions and then halt. “Look carefully, there are more adjectives in the painting than meets the eye. Take your time and you will see more.”

3. After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.

Worksheet link: http://theinspiredclassroom.com/articles/Rockwell%20parts%20of%20speech.pdf

Implementation Ideas:

  • Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
  • Give students a copy to use in small groups.
  • Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
  • Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
  • Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.

Extensions and Variations

  • In the t-chart, have students locate common and proper nouns.
  • In the t-chart, have students come up with a relate subject and verb to later use in a sentence.
  • Have students write a sentence about what they see in the painting and underline the nouns, circle the verbs, etc.
  • Students can then expand their sentences by adding in adjectives and adverbs.

Next Blog (due out on Tues, January 12, 2010) – A little bit about Norman Rockwell and how to bring his paintings into your classroom effectively. Plus more activities coming in future blogs this month!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Inspiring in the Classroom

Norman Rockwell, an all-American painter, captures the hearts of so many of us: young and old. He has a realistic sense of humor, a poignant grasp of the human spirit, and an ability to express so much in the expressions of his characters’ faces.

In the classroom, his painting can be used to grab students’ attention. Students love to watch the boys in a pig pile grasping for the pigskin in First Down, http://imagecache5.art.com/p/LRG/20/2010/H2S6D00Z/norman-rockwell-first-down.jpg wonder what happened to the girl outside the principal’s office in Girl with a Blackeye, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PUoIm_a8734/RzmH7fhSoQI/AAAAAAAAAHc/FVw10XbQm9c/s400/Girl%2Bwith%2BBlack%2BEye.jpg and are curious as to why the boy is giving medicine to his dog in Mysterious Malady. http://imagecache5.art.com/p/LRG/20/2044/IFL4D00Z/norman-rockwell-mysterious-malady.jpg

There is so much going on in each of Rockwell’s paintings, both action and emotion; and in them is much potential for art integration including ways to develop grammar skills and reading strategies. Over the next few weeks, we will be going over a few ways to do just that!

Collecting Rockwell paintings can be easy. Maybe you have old calendars of his work or a few prints in your home. If not, you can display some of his works on your classroom computer after finding a few examples on the internet. A great resource is the Norman Rockwell Museum website http://www.nrm.org/. Here, along with finding images, you can explore Rockwell’s biography and view his home and studio. Another wonderful website to visit is http://www.rockwelllicensing.com/index.html. Click the gallery tab and view full screen images of Rockwell’s paintings.

If you have hard copies of his paintings (like outdated calendars), consider laminating them to preserve them in the classroom. Maybe you have enough for students to use in small groups or even individually. If so, you can pass out examples or place the artwork around your room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format. If not, consider doing a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group. Another possibility is to create a center in your room where students can visit and follow simple directions to complete an activity while enjoying and studying a great piece of Americana.

Each week this month, I will be blogging about Norman Rockwell and how to integrate his artwork into your language curriculum. Each blog will have a link to a worksheet you can print and use right away in your classroom.

We encourage you to try out these activities this month and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter! Muse Away!