A Quick Way to Use Art to Teach Jewish Holidays
Art can stimulate thinking and learning. According to Elizabeth Diament, Senior Educator at the National Gallery of Art, "works of art also have many stories to tell and visually connect students to a wide range of content areas."
One way to build those connections is to use art as a stimulus for sparking creative imagination and deep reflection. A simple technique to begin that process is an art response - looking at a piece of art and asking questions about what someone sees.
Here's a video example of an art response to a painting by French artist Robert Delaunay, which serves as the entry to a lesson about the meaning of Shavuot in the new Make Create Celebrate! Jewish Holidays through Art.
Each chapter in Make, Create, Celebrate focuses on a different holiday. The program is designed for students in grades 4-6, and it uses art as a way to explore the meaning of the holiday and help students connect with its underlying values in a personal way. Some of the special features include:
- - Gallery tour of beautiful, full-color images of contemporary and historical artworks with accompanying reflection questions
- - Explanations of art techniques
- - Fun facts about the holidays
- - Prompts and thoughts questions that help learners apply their art experiences to the Jewish holidays
- - Space for students to write and reflect about their own work
- - Peer reviews that gives students opportunities to share their work with friends, and give and receive feedback
- - Links to online, original videos by the author that demonstrate activities within the course
A companion Lesson Plan Manual includes at least two full lessons per holiday.
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