This year, our schedule has afforded us the opportunity to have time to work with the K-5 classroom teachers in a much more meaningful way – for our students, and for us – by collaborating. The concept of integration is old, but valuable… students grasp concepts with more mental strength and longevity when the gaps are bridged from the classroom to art & music rooms. The fact that we’re confined to 4 cinder block walls to gain an even more meaningful experience is a different topic for a different day… ANYHOO, I’ve got many projects of collaborative teaching on the block with one completed. I worked with a 5th grade teacher and her students on a Civil Rights project. We met, talked, and discussed at length an idea that would provide the students an opportunity to create something provocative – something others would take notice of…  Last year, I’d done a project with some 5th grade students using digital photography and PowerPoint – based on Barbara Kruger’s works. That lesson went so well and provided such feedback that I thought this would be a great way to have the students deliver THEIR message of civil rights… I went into their classroom with a PowerPoint of appropriate Kruger images and we discussed the meaning behind the words, the use of black & white to create a stark, simple message, etc. The kids and their teacher had different interpretations (I love art!) for each of the images – and it was making them THINK! After the lesson, we talked about how they could use Kruger’s art as inspiration for their own messages and art works. After I left, the classroom teacher did the whole art lesson with her students – Mrs. Fox is an artist herself and excellent with technology, so it was no problem for her to carry the rest of the lesson out as prime facilitator. Click here to see all of the results of this collaborative effort: