What is the role of art in the Pre-K classroom?
In Red Barn, the Pre-K classroom at The Seven Hills School, the role of art is an expansive one. Art serves not only as a medium for the communication of ideas, but also as an arena to grow confidence, build community, and foster independence.
This fall Red Barn ventured into the study of a 3-D medium, building sculptures from wood. After studying painting and color mixing for the first six weeks of school, studio teacher Riley Wise found that only a portion of her students were drawn to studio work. Riley’s introduction of a new, hands-on medium ignited interest among a whole new cohort of four and five year olds. In addition to creating sculptures from recycled wood pieces, the students also took the lead in creating an exhibit to share their work with the larger school community. Students assembled the exhibit in an outdoor “gallery,” wrote and delivered handmade invitations to students and administrators, served as docents for the show, and sketched their sculptures at a drawing booth.
The Pre-K sculpture exhibit showcased the power of a long-term project, wherein cognitive, social-emotional, and literacy goals are achieved amidst an environment of high interest, motivation, and pride.