Parents & Teachers

Why ArtSparks?
ArtSparks is a visual literacy program, where students engage with great works of art and reflect, analyze, interpret, and think critically about them.

In connect with the art in ArtSparks, students
•Build confidence in the ability to communicate understanding.
•Are active in a group discussions – talking and listening
•Develop thinking and communication skills
•Deepen understanding of the concepts with extension activities.

Why look at art?
Art is the creative expression of an artist. Art is a form of communication. Art is a reflection of the artist’s inner life, community, culture, and place in history.

What can a student gain from exploring and discussing art?

Observation and Articulation:

Students learn to seek out details and take time to look carefully. Students verbalize their ideas.
“I see people walking through the snow. Some are riding horses.”

Interdependent Thinking:

Students learn to listen respectfully to their peers with respect. Students can offer interpretations that build on the ideas of others.
“Just like David said – it’s wintertime. It’s snowing and it looks cold.”

Flexible Thinking:

Students learn to multiple perspectives or interpretation is willing to revisit ideas.
“We can’t see their faces, so maybe their backs are facing us and they are walking away from us. Or maybe they are looking down and that’s the top of their hats. And look at the way their legs are bent. They are coming toward us. ”

Evaluation and Reflection:

Students state their interpretations, preferences, and ideas and provide evidence/support for their statements.
“I think they are very cold. They have their blankets pulled tightly around them and they are hunched over.”

Curiosity and Problem-Solving:

Students ask questions and consider problems that connect them to further learning.
“They look like they are moving. Why are they traveling by horse? Wouldn’t a car be easier? ”

Activation of Prior Knowledge and Experience:

Draws upon and applies past knowledge and experience to create meaning or expand understanding.
“I think that’s Japanese writing, because I’ve seen Japanese writing in a book and it looked like that.”

Categorization and Critical Thinking:

Recognizes and identifies similarities, differences, patterns, and relationships.
“I think it’s a family – a mom and dad and two kids – by their sizes and they are all close together and dressed the same.”

Exploration and Speculation:

Generates interpretations and provides evidence for speculation.
“I don’t think this is a vacation! They look cold and are walking through deep snow. I think they are traveling because they have to. Maybe they have to find a new home.”

From: Museum Learning Research.

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