As you know, Wilmington Montessori School is embarking on integrating the arts more fully into our students’ learning experiences. This effort will take various forms and several years to fully accomplish. If you walk throughout the building today, at the end of the third week of school, you will notice lots of student work hanging in the hallways outside of the classrooms. Though some of this is art, it is not technically integration, which seeks the blending of content and skills between a given art form and another curricular subject.
Last week our art teacher Laurie Muhlbauer could be found in the 9-12 classrooms. She was working with the students to introduce drawing lessons that would support their efforts as they prepared to visit the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The 9-12 students are exploring the question “What does it mean to be human?” as their cultural focus this year. The zoo trip and the trip to the American Museum of Natural History affords the the opportunity to look at a variety of animals, noting the similarities and differences among their bodies, their movements and their skeletons. Learning to observe and draw the animal they are studying brings art more fully into their learning experience. In addition, Tim Moore, Room 11 Assistant Teacher, brought in his skull collection to share with the children. They had ample opportunities to hone their observation skills, ask questions, and wonder why the similarities and differences exist. Through the lessons Laurie shared with the students, the collection Tim brought in and the lessons given by the classroom teachers, the students had a richer experience. They were given various ways to learn, from reading and googling to observing, drawing and taking notes.
What we know is that the more ways we learn about something, the more likely we are to remember what we’ve been taught. Stay tuned as we broaden our experience with the arts and provide even more pathways to learning for the students at WMS.