Thursday, June 25, 2015

Expanding the Classroom Walls, Children's Theater Co. and the Mpls Institute of Arts

I was at home visiting the Children's Theater and MIA. This is where I would take a field trip every year if I could!  I love the MIA!  I have to be honest and share I have never been in the theater before this visit, so I learned a lot about the performances and the offerings to schools.  I would say this seems to be a VERY professional location for a field trip and would love to share this with my school and students as well. 

One of the things I have bought my previous staff to the MIA is to get training in VTS or Visual Thinking Strategies. VTS is a series of questions to allow students to build and developed their critical thinking skills, their persuasion and debate skills as well learning how to visual read images (more found on the VTS website). I feel that this way of addressing art is so applicable to all subjects, and abilities, that all teachers should learn the method.

I always visit my favorite painting at the MIA by, John Singleton Copley, American 1738-1815.  This is Portrait of Sarah Allen, née Sargent.  It made me smile to see that the MIA is being so progressive and staying up on current events.  They are relating this painting to Caitlyn Jenner's story.  They even have a QR code to bring you to more information.  Good job MIA! 

One thing our guide told us was that she is really proud of the way the MIA can present any tour that is requested.  They can make it STEAM, Cultural based, Themed, Regional, Time era... you name it, they can create a tour to go with any theme, standard or objective.  These tours are free, and they even have scholarships of transportation for schools with a high low and reduced lunch population.

If you have never visited, or you are coming in the Twin Cities for a visit, this is a must see!  Catch a play and explore the great collections of the MIA.  If you are from the area, you MUST visit with your families, and your students!

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