Monday, June 22, 2015

Expanding the Classroom Walls, Landmark Center

Landmark Center was the surprise of the week. This was first explained to us as a history site, government based, and that it is, however for an art teacher... it was so much more.  We were treated to many architectural beauties.  The building was closely restored to it's original wonder.  There was a element of Gangster history at this site too, perfect for middle schoolers.  I learned from it's history that during the depression this site provided a 'Home for the Arts'.  During World War II art teachers were hired to give lessons and life models were payed to pose.  That Roosevelt was one creative guy... 

In addition to all the history, we were treated to a tour of their Music room.  There were pianos, harpsichords, and fortepianos on display.  Many of witch students were allowed to play.  The science of musical instruments was explained in hands on stations.  There was also a space dedicated to composers such as Franz Joeseph Haydn, Giuseppe Verdi, Samuel Barber and Franz Liszt.  We got to view original compositions and discuss handwriting identification to determine who wrote what pieces of music.

The history of music continued with music boxes and phonographs.  Some of which I have never seen in person, so our students would certainly be exposed to something new in this exhibit. 

Another totally interactive area was a room filled with Gamelan's.  This was a space to learn about cultural music and explore with the many sounds that Gamelan's can make.  It was explained that there are over 14 Gamelan Orchestras in the state of Minnesota because one teacher and one organization has brought this musical instrument to our local area.  The Minnesota Indonesia Society perform dance and song at this site. 

The final room featuring music I will have more to say in a later post. It is the inspiration of the lesson I plan to develop from my experience this week. It was artwork from Mary Ellen Childs.  Again, I will hit on this in a future post very soon.

I should have broke this post into more sections because I still have a whole gallery of wood turning to explain.  That goes to show what a wealth of treasures there is a this totally free field trip site. 

Tremendously beautiful works from wood in this gallery.  The remarkable artistry blew me away.  I was also impressed that they had a section of the gallery were students were able to touch and explore with some of their other senses. 

Activities such as match the shape with the correct silhouette. 

Students could use their sense of smell to get a better feel for what working with wood provokes.

I also liked that they had items that would capture our young students attention such as hand made, wooden toys.  Even a whole counter top full of items that spectators were encouraged to touch, feel, smell and examine.

There was a good history presented to us complete with very old lathes.  Finally, there was a volunteer from the Minnesota Woodturners Association, explaining the process of turning wood with a demonstration.  This was just a great field trip.

Check out more about our field trips by searching the #TCWALLSI on twitter.  There are also a lot of images and information on their Facebook page. I would love for you to send links to lesson plans that you think would help support these field trips I will be posting about as well. Have you had a program like this that you were able to support in your classroom?  Send me links, pictures, or stories in the comments.  Thanks!

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