by Dan Diemer
For the April Evenings for Educators, I will be sharing and discussing our class’ extended lesson which is in line with the CAM’s current exhibition- Paris 1900: City of Entertainment. Our lesson’s theme is “River Cities’ Scenes: Paris on the Seine/Cincinnati on the Ohio.”
Our students enjoyed a docent lead museum tour, a theme based scavenger hunt, and the follow up classroom activity based on the concept of “community.” A community can be defined as a “place where people live, work, and have fun together.” Our class’ experience focused on the CAM’s artwork which related to everyday life in the cities of Cincinnati and Paris during roughly the same time period,1900. The museum has an ample number of relevant works that show glimpses of the community life. We subdivided the basic theme to pieces that had to do with the community concepts of Play, Work, Faith, School, Transportation, and Landmarks.
Following the museum visit, the students had a chance to describe how their favorite piece related to the idea of community. Then they crafted a recreation of or reflection on their choice by using a variety of media: painting, drawing, photography, crafting a 3D object, poetry, creating a backstory for the piece, a personal reflection, or a song/rap option. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The basic class experience of customizing a museum visit and a scavenger hunt lends itself to utilizing a wide variety of media interactions by a wide variety of age groups. In addition, the template of comparing our river city of Cincinnati could be used to compare our river city to other “river cities” via artwork such as London on the Thames, Giza on the Nile, Baghdad on the Tigris, Vienna on the Danube, and of course, Rome on the Tiber among others.
See artwork below