Lessons based on works of art and creative activities can have many benefits for the teacher and students and, as we know, the phrase: ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, says it all! When children make something creative, they can be proud of what they have produced. Likewise, when a student develops a new language skill, they get a confidence boost which enables them to “perform” better in other areas of their education.
Art can be incorporated into a wide range of activities both in school and at home and it develops so many skills, including close observation, specific language terms, creativity, pattern recognition, and the development of vocabulary to express likes and dislikes.
Art can be very stimulating and lead to a wide variety of satisfying activities. Teachers often use visual images to introduce a topic or language item, but that image could also be a piece of art, that sparks the creative talents of young learners.
Teachers can use art to develop vocabulary relating to colours, feelings, size, shapes, verbs etc and then the students can be encouraged to make their own images. Paintings with a lot of colours are suited for very young kids as they can be helpful in colour recognition.
Children can also be given a section of a painting and then asked to talk about the shapes, the colours and the objects they observe. They can also learn about naming the parts of the human body, pieces of clothing as well as describing objects using relevant adjectives and action words or verbs.
Children can learn from textbooks about different colours, but observing a colourful painting and describing these colours will help them put these words and phrases into practice. This is part of the art learning process at Otto2.
When the students realise that they can understand, think and create, following instructions using Mandarin, they feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Try these activities out:
Using crayons, paint, glitter and glue, they get to experience language in action, and they are also learning about different styles of art: It’s a win-win situation.
Children learn best through movement and action: It’s what their bodies are designed to do, so the more active you make the learning, the more the brain gets switched on and engaged with the activity. Get the children to stand, sit, move like the people in the painting and use the appropriate action words.
Integrating high quality art images supports a child’s ability to access concepts and information in a far more interesting and nurturing way. It can also be used to broaden their exposure to other cultures and times in history.
Make comparisons between two paintings: Which one do they like better? How does it make the feel? Is it happy or sad?
Experiment with using materials such as clay to produce models , with specific vocabulary to express how it feels, what they are making and who will they give it to?
Have fun and let your imagination run wild with art activities to nurture active learners! It helps if the adults join in too, so you may even discover your own personal Picasso!
We hope you enjoyed this blog. Stay tuned next week for our next edition. As always, if you would like to book a trial class for Dadi or Otto2, please get in touch. You may also be interested in reading How Better Sleep Helps Improve Your Child’s Learning. Developed for Dadi Mandarin and written by WOI.