Teachers who inspire their students to take risks and find their own creative voice help them discover a lifelong love of learning. When St. James Teacher Kim May saw a social post from the Getty Museum, she encouraged her 8th grade students to create their own visual masterpieces.
As a way to keep people engaged with art while museums are closed, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles challenged their social media followers to “recreate a work of art with objects (and people)” from the comfort of their own homes. Well, in turn, May asked her students to study some of the famous masterpieces and recreate the look in modern day selfies.
Not only did the students deliver, their efforts are quite impressive as they pose and recreate these masterpieces in visual format.
Keeping students engaged during these trying times is something that we’re sure most teachers find challenging day-to-day but when schools have engaging and innovative teachers such as Mrs. May this is not seen as an obstacle but rather an opportunity to get creative. She often offers extra credit to students who take on her project challenges.
For example, here are some recent extra credit projects offered online:
-Optional Monday art prompt: a simple line drawing of an object a student values
-Sent a link of L. Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire” and asked kids to respond to it through journaling or visual art.
Vinyl Rules Even When Kids Are Out of School
Spinning LPs may see like a distant memory from the ‘70s but this resurgence of vintage vinyl is making a comeback in Mrs. May’s classes, too.
#VirtualVinyl Friday gives students sampling of vintage vinyl and then challenges them to write or create artwork after taking a quick listen. Here are a few sample assignments:
-The Kinks’ “Come Dancing”…writing prompt: what is something that used to bring you joy that you have maybe grown out of?
-Chicago’s own Sweep the Leg Johnny wrote “Blizzard of 99” inspired by a different sort of Chicago shut-down. Seventh and eighth graders wrote poems inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.
One parent shared on Instagram, “I love that our kids have had Vinyl Fridays with you. These pieces of writing are amazing. Thank you.”
St. James Lutheran School offers preschool through 8th grade students innovative and engaging coursework that shapes their intellectual, spiritual, and physical well-roundedness, leading 95% of graduating 8th graders into placement in their first-choice high school.
This school proudly serves Chicago’s Lincoln Park, Old Town, Bucktown, and Wicker Park neighborhoods and the surrounding community.