Art Develops Writers at Heritage

Art Develops Writers in Heritage Kindergarten Class
Posted on 05/31/2019
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A recent art show at Heritage ECS showcased all of the learning that went into over 20 art projects kindergarteners completed during the school year. Collage features four students in middle surrounded by photos of artwork on display. Art may be considered one of Lakota’s six daily specials, but it’s finding its way into early learners’ routine far more frequently than every sixth day of the school week. Take, for example, Julie Meno’s kindergarteners at Heritage Early Childhood School. 

Her class hosted a year-end art show to showcase the 20-plus art projects they’d completed all year long as an extension of their core curriculum. From turkeys, poinsettias and self-portraits to “Cat in the Hat” interpretations, snowflakes and even a cityscape mural, every display tied back to a book they’d read or a concept they’d learned, like seasons, shapes and colors.

“Kids learn through the arts and I love integration because it’s a great way to learn otherwise vague concepts,” Meno said. “Drawing and writing go hand in hand, so as they develop as artists, they also develop as writers.”

With each art project, Meno gave her students a lot of creative latitude when it came to creating their final piece. Every student kept a portfolio of their artwork, with the final show representing each student’s favorite monthly pick from the beginning to the end of the school year.

Four of Meno’s students -
 Abby Dakin, Harper Blair, Owen Mumaw and Reese Wilkens - bounced down the hall after being asked to lead a personal tour of the class’s show the day after they’d done the same routine for their parents and families. They introduced themselves when they reached a door displaying their individual photos before entering the media center. Their enthusiasm and pride was evident by the energy with which they talked about each exhibit.

“I learned that things don’t look the same,” Abby said. “Every single thing looks different.”

When asked if they wanted to be artists when they grow up, all but one of their hands shot up in the air. “I don’t want to be an artist,” Reese beamed. “I’m already an artist.”