The common perception is that academic work is what makes a student successful. But what if we had evidence that it’s the creative work that satisfies the standard? Susana Fattorini, one of CCUSD’s two Elementary Visual Arts Teachers, recounts a kindergarten visual arts lesson that adheres to the California VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) standards for visual arts: artistic perception; creative expression; historical and cultural context; aesthetic valuing; and connections, relationships and applications.
“Chase is a current first grader at El Marino. Last year, as a Kinder, he learned how to quill (roll) paper to make a family of snails. Quilling paper is an important practice for a Kinder student, as it uses fine motor skills to roll the paper tightly, so it unrolls just a little, and still resembles a snail. Six weeks later, Chase came for his next lesson. We made a ripped paper collage inspired by Georgia O’Keefe. Ripping paper is a great practice for fine motor skills as well. In his collage, Chase remembered the skill he’d learned six weeks prior and, using left over paper from the petals, he included three beautiful red snails at the bottom of his artwork. As his teacher Sra. Romero came to pick up her class, I shared the story and she declared, ‘He’s making connections!’ We were both very excited. Chase’s learning moment is just one of many I get to witness as I teach visual art to three of CCUSD’s elementary schools.”