By Susan Frey
Art lessons for pre-kindergarten students are moving beyond finger paints and into the worlds of van Gogh, da Vinci and Rivera.
Teachers in a number of districts in California are using classic works of art to inspire some of the youngest students to observe closely, think critically and discuss respectfully – all key elements of the Common Core approach to learning.
By looking closely together as a class at a Picasso or a Cezanne, 4- and 5-year-olds are learning how to observe and translate their thoughts into language and listen and respond to multiple perspectives.
This approach for K-12 students was developed about 20 years ago by the co-founders of Visual Thinking Strategies, a nonprofit based in New York that provides training in the method to schools and art museums. More recently, the nonprofit has introduced the concept to pre-K classes.