What Happens in the Galleries?
In general, school tours are facilitated using three approaches to ensure that a variety of learning styles are met. Docents, or volunteer tour guides, are specially trained to facilitate an interactive experience for students. Typically, we have one docent for every ten students.
Students will visit three galleries for twenty-minutes each during their one-hour tour. Each stop will highlight a different approach. An approach is simply a way to interact with the art.
1. Longer Look
Group conversation for 20 minutes at one artwork. Students will be seated and encouraged to look, listen to others and contribute to the conversation.
o Outcomes of the Dialogical Approach include:
§ Dialogue can intensify our affection for an artwork
§ Bridging Skills: brings students together across differences; celebrates diversity and encourages unexpected connections
§ Learn to recognize the value of their peers’ contributions
§ Learn what matters to others
§ A shared vocabulary develops among the group
§ Dialogue expands everyone’s experience of the object
2. Alone Time
Just like it sounds, students will be given 20 minutes to allow time and space to reflect on and absorb the artworks at their own pace. Many times, we will ask students to select and artwork of their choosing and sketch, write, or just enjoy!
o Outcomes of the Alone Time Approach:
§ Can improve psychological wellbeing.
§ Allows students to connect with an artwork personally.
§ Alone time can play a restorative role by creating a sense of peace of calm.
§ Alone time can maximize perceptual and cognitive organization.
3. Docent’s Choice
Because the MMAM exhibits up to 10 temporary exhibitions per year, there are many opportunities to connect to curriculum in different ways. Depending on the exhibition and students’ ages, docents select an activity or approach that they think will best suit the needs of their group.
o Examples of some “Docent Choice Activities” might include
§ Individual Gallery Activities
· Hearts and Yuks- Student places a card with a heart or a “yuk” on the floor below the artworks of their choice. This is a great exercise for exploring personal choice and developing a visual vocabulary.
· Elements of Art, or Principles of Art- Students identify an artwork that best exemplifies the element or principle listed on their card. i.e. “texture, rhythm, light”
· Quote/ Personal Response Cards- Each student gets a card with a quote and a corresponding question. i.e. “‘I’m not afraid. I was born to do this.’ ~Joan of Arc. Find an artwork that reflects some of your strengths.”
§ Small Group/ Pair Approaches
· “Turn and Talks”- Facilitator poses a question and asks partners to discuss their answers in pairs or small groups
· Storytelling- Using a variety of worksheets like “Interview an Artwork,” or “Make a Movie Poster,” teams use creative strategies to explore an artwork.
§ Music; instruments, recordings, sound effects, singing
§ Scarves- move like the waves, boats, sails
§ Poetry- Acrostics, haikus, read a poem
§ Books- read a story or an excerpt
§ Props- touch and hold prisms, sailor’s gear, paintbrushes, palettes, etc.