Common Core. Those words can evoke a lot of emotions for parents of school-age children. Love it? Hate it? Not sure what it means?
The definition is fairly simple: The Common Core Standards detail what K–12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade.
The Common Core is about reading, writing and speaking across different subjects. It is naturally aligned with art because art is about communication and how to better express oneself through creative avenues.
Let’s explore how Meet the Masters Art Education incorporates the most positive elements of the the Common Core Standards.
The development of MTM was based upon proven teaching techniques, and has always followed the step-by-step guidelines that the Common Core Standards support: Learning, Practice and Projects.
- Learning – Meet the Masters begins the study of each artist with “Introducing the Master,” a multi-media presentation using PowerPoint slides, artist voices and music where students learn about the fascinating life, background and culture of the artist and the world he lived in.
- Practice – The second step, “Learning From the Master,” includes worksheets that reinforce the assembly material and give students an opportunity to practice the techniques that made the art unique.
- Project – In the final step, “Working With the Master,” students unearth their imagination and gain confidence in their own unique abilities as they create a masterpiece in the same medium, style or subject matter as the master artist.
MTM Art provides an avenue to make cross connections with all subjects that elementary students study. In Language Arts, vocabulary development is critically important.
MTM introduces and illustrates new vocabulary in such a meaningful way that students are bound to remember it. Can a first grader learn the word tessellation? Yes! A tessellation is like a puzzle with pieces that are all the same. M.C. Escher spent his life creating interesting and complex tessellations and MTM students are inspired by the master to create their own tessellations. In other lessons, students are introduced to vocabulary such as silhouettes of the artist Rockwell, abstracts of Picasso, the adobe and coiling of Martinez.
What about Meet the Masters Integration with other disciplines? Let’s look at some examples.
Social Studies: MTM provides an avenue to social studies by teaching students about master artists who have made a contribution to our own culture, studying the culture of the country where the artist was from, and learning what world events or people influenced the artist at that time.
Math: MTM art curriculum teaches students to regard common vocabulary in a new light. For example, the common mathematical terms of positive and negative, value, contrast and patterns all have shades of a new meaning in art.
Music: Students look at the elements in Mondrian’s composition while listening to music, focusing on the rhythm and matching it to the sense of movement they see in Mondrian’s shapes. After listening to three music selections, they try to choose the best musical match for his painting.
History: When studying Michelangelo, students learn that Pope Julius enticed Michelangelo to move to Rome by offering him work as a sculptor, his first love. But the Pope wanted Michelangelo to paint. When the artist finally gave in, he spent the next four years creating one of the most unique and famous works of art in the world – the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
The great news is that the standards call on so many things Meet the Masters art curriculum is designed to teach. Careful observation, attention to evidence and artists’ choices, analyzing and interpreting, comparing and contrasting, all these things are inherent in MTM art education.
So, start with the best aspects of the Common Core Standards, proven teaching techniques and cross-subject connections, add fascinating stories of the master artists’ lives, and top it all off with an incredible art project that will make every student proud. Voila – a successful art program that everyone will love!
Learn more about Meet the Masters.