Thoreau adopted the district-sponsored Art Docent Program during the 2004 - 2005 school year – and it has been a huge success!
Email the coordinator, Kim Jones here.
The Art Docent Program is meant to teach art concepts while having fun doing art. Many projects do not necessarily become a “finished product” because students are learning. For example, they do not use erasers. It’s not about doing it just right, but rather practicing to get better. In an art docent class, the student may create 10-20 practice sketches instead of one polished and completed sketch. This is important to understand particularly for children who are more finished-product-oriented. Students will have the opportunity to work with a variety of art media. For example:
- Drawing – lines, animals, self portraits, buildings, nature
- Water color pencils
- Oil pastels
- Tempera paints
- Acrylic paints
- Clay or wire and/or paper sculptures
In the 2005-6 school year, Thoreau also incorporated into the program India Ink and Scratchboard projects. Every grade has a variety of projects throughout the year and the curriculum is set up to build on the prior year. This means that nothing is repeated exactly, but develops further and becomes more complex as the student grows older and more proficient. As a result, the curriculum for 3rd grade was being used for 3-6th grades during the 2004-5 school year. In 2005-6 Thoreau will move to 4-6th graders working on 4th grade projects… et cetera. This allows them to learn the concepts and language of art in a progressive way.
Thoreau’s Art Docent program is a collaborative effort between the parents and the teachers. Parent volunteers help prepare and plan for classroom lessons, collect and prepare art supplies, assist the classroom teacher during lessons, hand out supplies during the lesson, clean and return supplies to the art/science room and maintain notes and documentation for use by future volunteers. Some parents may also teach the lessons. This is arranged individually with the parent based on the teacher’s knowledge and the parent’s knowledge and willingness. Volunteers are almost always needed – if you’re interested in helping out, please contact Margaret Adams.