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Volume 3 Number 12

Eric Carle said, "I long dreamt of a museum for children and families," and now his dream has come true...
The Very Busy Museum - A conversation with Eric Carle by Kathleen Alape Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Kindergartners Share Thanksgiving Recipes Posted by their teacher on the Teachers.Net chatboard
Greetings from the Coast Guard Cutter POLAR SEA! by LT. Marshall Branch
Editor's e-Picks for Education News by Kathleen Carpenter - Editor, Teachers.Net Gazette
We Get What We Get - The Bottom Line On Parent Accountability by Bill Page
Don't Forget the Little People: A Vision for an Online Learning Community for Kindergarten by Jaclyn Scott
Learning the Continents Through Songs & Poems by Karen/PA/Rdg
A View on Holiday Art by Kathy Roberson
How to Deal With Bullying in Your Classroom by William Voors
  • More Than Just "Reading Buddies" - An Overview of School-based Mentor Programming by Peggy Cramer
  • A Remarkable Program For At-Risk, Middle Level Students by Bill Page
  • Child Safety Tips and Free CD by Greg Pospiel
    60 Ways to Practice Spelling by Michele McCoy
    December Columns
    December Regular Features
    December Informational Items
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About Kathy Roberson...
    Kathy Roberson is a 1979 graduate of Eastern Illinois University in Art Education with a Specialist Endorsement, as well as being certified in general Education for grades Kindergarten through Nine. Besides her twenty-two years of experience teaching Art, Kathy has been very active in Integrating Technology into the Classroom and has presented several Professional Development Workshops on the use of computers in the classroom for her district.

    Teacher Feature...

    A View on Holiday Art

    by Kathy Roberson

    When I was an undergraduate majoring in Art Education, I was told repeatedly, "No Holiday Art!" by my Professors. The idea seemed to be that the Fine Arts had no business being adulterated by the pettiness of a mere holiday art project. Art Education majors were expected to go out and teach the masses about the loftier aspects of art, we were to teach color, design, theory and technique!

    The first few years of my Art teaching, I avoided holiday art like the plague. High above doing pumpkins or turkeys or Christmas trees, I was the Art Educator for my district and teaching the concepts of art was my mission. The projects I presented were restricted by what I had learned at the University, and sadly some were not readily accepted. The reason was that the students were doing seasonal art projects in their classroom. To most, Art class was just to do and learn art, not anything fun to do with holidays.

    When this realization came to me, I rebelled against all that had been taught to me during my college days. After all, I was a highly trained professional in all areas of art. Why should holiday art not be addressed? Couldn't holiday art be integrated into a Fine Arts Program? My answer is YES it can.

    Art Educators can successfully teach many aspects of Fine Arts concepts through holiday arts and crafts. With ingenuity, many of the basic principles of art can be introduced to the students and they can also have fun while they learn these concepts.

    For instance, recently I finished a "Thanksgiving" project with the fifth graders in my district. The theme was a cornucopia. Within this project, the students learned:

    1. Paper Manipulation
    2. Making art by using multimedia
    3. Using familiar materials in a different way
    4. Basic design principles of shape, form, color and repetition

    teacher's example

    example of student work

    Besides learning all of these various applications used in Fine Art, the students loved making them and were proud of the art they had created. This is just one example of how we can use holiday art to reinforce the basic skills needed to produce Fine Art. I have learned in my twenty-two years of being an art educator that children learn the best when they are enjoying what is being taught!

    • Look at your State Goals for teaching Art. What project would you like to do and how could you relate that project to those goals?
    • Many holiday art projects involve several tasks. These aren't restricted to just goals in art. Some projects involve measuring with a ruler, a compass or a protractor. This type of project would correlate with math. Integration of history, science or language goals are always present with any project.
    • Be creative in your presentation of the project. Show each step and have examples. Explain why you have chosen this project and what skills you want the students to gain by doing it.
    • Critique the students' work in progress. Show them ideas on how their project could be better. Give overall design instruction and reinforce the guidelines on what you expect in their workmanship.

    Visit the Arts & Crafts Chatboard