Art, Distance Learning, and Mo Willems!

Well, the schools in Minnesota are delivering education from a distance through at least May 4. A daunting task for everyone, including art teachers! Well, today our 2nd grader was excited (for the first time in this virtual school scenario) when his art teacher sent a video of Mo Willems and his first “Lunch Doodle,” a new series produced by the Kennedy Center. Outstanding!! We have four original drawings in our little’s sketchbook and big smiles. Mo Willems even did a final doodle that spoke to the spirit of everyone being connected, a perfect message for this challenging time.

This is a fantastic resource for all art educators, and artists both young and young at heart. Kudos to the Kennedy Center, Mo Willems, and art instructors everywhere.

Editorial Cartoons and More

Today’s “Friday Five” explores five resources from the Dirksen Congressional Center, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization focused on improving civic engagement and understanding of Congress. Educators of most age groups will find helpful material for teaching US Government and US History here. There is also a beautiful online book (#4 in the list) that would be great for art and architecture!  And now to the Friday Five:

One:  the “Congress for Kids” site is aimed more at that K-8 crowd. With colorful visuals and illustrations aimed at young students, Congress for Kids looks at the Constitution, each of the Branches of Government, Elections and Citizenship with a couple of quizzes too.

Two:  “Congress in the Classroom Online.” Congress in the Classroom Online utilizes a moodle aimed at helping instructors understand today’s Congress and strategies to teach about it. With more than a dozen individual units looking at things like the membership of Congress, lawmaking and more, this looks like a great resource and well worth the few minutes to set up a free account.

Three: the Dirksen’s Political Cartoon Collection has 80 or so political cartoons collected form the late 1950’s to the late 1960’s. Each cartoon has a lesson plan to support it. A great way to learn about presidential appointments, the law making process, party politics, and more.

Four: The Library of Congress: As An Embodiment of the American Identity. An 80-page e-book investigating the beautiful and historic art and architecture of the Library of Congress. An informative and beautiful resource.

Five: An interactive Civil Rights Timeline. Explore the years of 1963-1965 through a timeline that combines facts with primary source documents and additional links and biographical information.

The Dirksen Congressional Center has more resources than those listed above, but I hope these are a great springboard to new material and ideas.

Happy Friday!

Museum Monday: The Warhol

From PowerPoint presentations on Andy Warhol’s background, pop art, color and shape and more to an interactive timeline of his life, art, and US History, those who take time to investigate The Warhol’s Educational Site will also find lesson and unit plans, art activities, and more. The Warhol Museum provides wonderful resources for anyone interested in this pop culture icon and this time period  in US History.

Museum Monday: Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Van Gogh

Van Gogh – amazing. Lose yourself and your students of art, history, possibly literature, in this wonderful online exhibit from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Learn about Van Gogh’s life, explore how Van Gogh used lines and light, learn about Van Gogh’s drawing history, or try your hand at a blank paper and see what magic you can work with a digital writing instrument. A neat site and easy to navigate.  Enjoy!