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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Pictures and Words Hold Stories

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Subject: Writer's Workshop

Mastery Objective:

Through observing and discussing the slides in the gallery, kindergartners will become immersed in the idea that pictures and words hold stories. The children will be able to create drawings that represent meaning to them.

Background information:

This will eventually lead to the idea that texts carry messages during their journal writing. In the beginning of the year, some kindergartners draw and write as a motor activity. They may not have a lot of meaning behind the marks on their paper and have difficulty verbally revealing the meaning their pictures carry. During writer's workshop, the goal is to help children approach a piece of paper with an intention to convey meaning. The kindergartners will observe art and describe what they see in the gallery. This activity will prompt them to see that pictures tell stories and that there is no right or wrong way of interpreting them. By using their words to tell a story of what they see, this will support their own ability to express what they have drawn in their journal writing. (See Lucy Calkins' Writers Workshop curriculum)

Natick K ROSP — Attempts writing beginning, middle, and ending sounds in words.

1) Have the children meet together on the rug as a whole-group. Introduce that you have gone to the Museum of Art in Boston and learned so much by looking at different paintings and artwork. Ask the students if they have had a similar experience, what was it like, and what did they learn. Tell the children that today they are going to look at some slides of art from the Museum. Ask them to carefully observe the pictures and express what they see and notice. If they are having a hard time, scaffold them by expressing a few things that you see. Talk about color and feeling. Model that you are using your imagination to picture what the artist was trying to tell us. Ask the children if they think the author was trying to tell a story. Try to gather ideas on some possible stories about the pictures (all answers are accepted and encouraged).

2) Tell the children they now have the chance to create their own story at their seats. Partner share the kids to share about a topic and tell a story. They can draw, using markers and crayons, anything that they would like. It can be a picture of what they did over the weekend or a picture of their family, pet, etc.

3) While they are working, confer with children to see what they have drawn. Ask the children to tell you about their picture. Tell them to write what they told you. If they ask for help, say "Put down whatever you hear." If they are not at this stage yet, record their idea in sentence form on their paper.

4) At the end of the activity, have the children bring their drawing to the meeting area (finished or not) and partner share what their drawing is all about. Have the children discuss what they see and notice about each other's drawing, similarly to how we had practiced during observing the artwork.

Get a sense of the kindergartners' attention span as a whole-group, and adjust how many slides to show. It may be adjusted to one-two slides a day for the week.
During the writing activity, if a child is struggling, I will try to help the child brainstorm ideas for a subject to draw. If a child finishes quickly, I will ask the child to add details to their drawing because this can be a precursor to learning to add detail in a written text.

I will meet with several students at a time to see if they understand what to do and to see what stage of writing they are at. Then I will create small writing groups to develop individual goals for each child to improve their writing skil

Created By

Elke Carver

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