by Tracy Alley
Students were so excited to start a Romare Bearden lesson, in partnership with the Cincinnati Art Museum. I teach students, in the gifted resource room, for multiple years (grades 2-5) so my students have participated in "Evenings for Educators" lesson plans in the past.
Romare Bearden was an artist my fourth graders studied briefly in second grade with the art teacher. Students became more excited for the artist study after reading Bearden’s short biography that I purchased from Teachers Pay Teachers. Teachers Pay Teachers had a wonderful selection of Bearden worksheets and slideshows. I highly recommend using the resources since it is unnecessary to "reinvent the wheel."
Students made many text-to-self connections as we read Bearden’s biography. He loved playing baseball as do a few of my students. Romie (his nickname) loved cats as do some of my students. His favorite subject in school was math, and a few of my students love math. It is important for students to feel connected to the subject they are studying.
We have interactive notebooks in our class, so students cut and pasted many selections from our Bearden study to have for the future. Students are the most excited to begin collage work. Many students said collage is one of their favorite forms of art. We will be creating a word collage on wordart.com as well.
Our favorite Romie quote was the following - "The artist has to be something like a whale - swimming with his mouth wide open, absorbing everything until he has what he really needs." The quote sums our research phase of the Bearden project. Now, we begin creating!