Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Painting the West

Posted by Linda
Stephie Morton, Creative Specialist, at Laurel Elementary School of Arts and Technology in Fort Collins, invited me to participate in the fourth grade art show, Painting the West.

She and the fourth grade teachers followed my PowerPoint program about my book, How the West Was Drawn: Cowboy Charlie’s Art with an expanded unit on the West. The classes read my book and read more historical books/stories about the Wild West.

The culminating activity required students to draw a western picture. They didn’t copy pictures from my book but drew from their imagination and applied what they had seen of Russell’s works. They wrote a short story to accompany each picture.

Stephie set up a museum setting to display the pictures and invited all classes on May 25th to view the show from 1:15-3:15 pm. She invited parents between 4 & 6 pm. And, she invited me for both.  

 I contributed my posters and homemade period costumes. Students wanted to don the costumes but time limits prevented it. Instead, I held the outfits in front of several students and Stephie took their pictures. I talked about the artists, suggested students find the snake in the Russell cover picture and the riderless horse in the Remington cover picture. 
Stephie shared some of the stories that accompanied the paintings. They related cowboy and Indian fights, sad or interesting tales. One fourth grader’s work stood above the others. His six or seven sentences included active verbs which painted wonderful word pictures; he used no passive verbs. Writers could learn from him.

The teachers plan to repeat and possibly expand the unit next year. I enjoyed the day, students, and parents. Hopefully, next year more parents take part. Congratulations, Stephie, on a job well done.

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