South River Education Association (Middlesex County), educator Maria Gartenberg of South River Elementary School received a $1,659 grant from the NJEA Hipp Foundation to help teach students reading skills and extend student learning through the application of those skills to the creation of a visual or performing art.
The fifth-grade students begin the school year with a survey focusing on reading and art experiences. Students then visit a New Jersey art museum to view artwork from different cultures. The museum visit introduces students to different genres, techniques, and materials. Students photograph the day’s activities and create a visual journal with photos and written reflections.
Students also “read” a variety of books including “Tuesday,” a wordless picture book. Students create a three-dimensional sculpture applying what they learned in the book.
Students read four versions of Cinderella from different cultures (Nigerian, Iraqi, Caribbean, and Native American) and create and illustrate their own versions.
Students also read “Number the Stars” and learn about World War II, the Danish resistance, and the Holocaust. Students then create performances based on scenes from the book.
Students take a survey at the end of the year to assess what they learned.
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