This week, The Preschool proudly launched our partnership with the High Museum of Atlanta. The PreK and 5/6 classes eagerly toured the museum with special docents trained to encourage a more engaging experience between the children and the art. Before the visit, children learned about appropriate museum behavior, including “museum hands”: hands behind your back. The docent led a discussion about lines, shapes, colors, and textures to sharpen the children’s focus on these elements.

During the tour, each child had a ring of papers to use for special projects. After writing their names on their rings of paper, the groups began to move through the museum. First, while looking at a large round mirrored piece, the children identified the many triangles within the structure. As they discussed the many shapes, and they used a pointed wooden stick to draw shapes on a special black piece of paper that revealed different colors as the children made the marks on paper.

Next, the children looked a large colorful sculpture and identified the colors and shapes within the piece. The docents demonstrated colors and the mixing of colors by having children identify the colors of vellum sheets that would change color when overlapped. The children used translucent, colored stickers to see and mix colors on a white piece of paper.

The children were excited to examine the sculpture of a horse. Looking closely, the docent asked: What was this made of? How did the artist put it together? What tools would be necessary? How do you think this feels? Using another sheet of paper from their rings, the children used texture cards to make rubbings to illustrate texture.

Walking through another gallery, the group identified and discussed lines on paintings and on a garment: straight, wavy, zig zag, horizontal, vertical. Using a Wikistick, the children created a line to press into their special ring of papers.

As groups continued their walk through the galleries, children actively participated in discussions about the artwork with growing confidence. They learned that art can be more than just a flat picture. Art can be a painting; a sculpture made of metal, wood, clay, mirrors or glass; a piece of furniture; something a person could wear; a combination of a flat painting on a wall and other objects. Sometimes artists use paint, crayons, pencils, hammers, bottle caps, brooms, hammers, paintbrushes…anything!

The children learned that artists sometimes give a title to their works. Why was this piece titled this way? This piece does not have a title…what would you name it?

After the tour, the group went to a classroom to discuss what they had seen: lines, colors, textures, shapes. Which pieces did they like the best? Teachers will use pictures of the favorites to use in discussions throughout the year. Before leaving the museum, the children decorated the remainder of their rings of paper. They were inspired to be artists!

The Preschool is proud to be one of only two preschools in Atlanta to be a partner with the High Museum of Art. We are grateful to Deirdra Alexander, Art Teacher at The Preschool and Teaching Artist at the High Museum, for facilitating this new partnership and ensuring that our students enjoy an exceptional art curriculum every day! We hope that the parents of our students will also allow their children to share what they have learned on your own family trip to the High.