Reading two books, giving kids notebooks, and providing photos and art supplies will help make a follow-up activities that are worthy of putting in a museum!
Going to a museum can be more meaningful and impacting if kids know what they will be doing with all the visual information they soak up. Gifted kids are usually great with museums. They read all the display cards, they study the exhibits, and without guidance, they end up exhausted and overloaded with information.
Books to Read Before Going to the Museum
Three books really set kids up to do great work upon returning from a museum. They help prepare kids for what to pay attention to at the museum, what details to look for, and what to create upon the return to the gifted classroom.
Using The Night at the Museum for Creative Writing
Students will already be familiar with the movie adaptations of Night at the Museum, which lends itself nicely to a museum scavenger hunt. The book is different than the museum. The characters not as developed, and the picture book is actually a mystery that the night guard, Larry, must solve: what happens to the dinosaurs.
The follow- up activity for this book will be for students to create their own Night at the Museum story based on exhibits at their museum. After reading the short picture book, instruct students:
Using When Pigasso Met Mootise for Replacement Art and Creative Writing
Two animals, a pig who creates brilliant, abstract art and a cow who splashes color across inventive lines, become competitive friends in Nina Laden's beautiful story about the real life friendship and tribulations of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. The art is based on actual Picasso and Matisse paintings, but the humans of the originals have been replaced by animals.
The follow-up activity for this book will be for students to recreate art with something else in the place of people (or the reverse), so students should be prepare to find pictures that lend themselves to being redrawn. Instruct students to:
Back in the Classroom
Although students will be tempted to make their own picture books, that is an activity that really depends on available work time and student ability. Gifted kids like to get immersed in projects, so creating books could become an option for free-choice centers after the original class books are made. The goal of the projects is to start with picture books, go to a museum, and create something new that can be shared in the classroom.
If students are able to bring cameras, remind them to take pictures with the flash off. Otherwise, they can usually print out displays from the museum website or they can even draw pictures. If students are not able to go on the field trip, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has a lovely virtual museum with a lot of odd and beautiful works, including the art from When Pigasso Met Mootise, online for exploration.
The Night at the Museum (0764136313) by Milan Trenc was published by Barron's Educational Series in November, 2006.
When Pigasso Met Mootise (0811811212) by Nina Laden was published by Chronicle Books in July, 1998.
Originally posted on Suite101 July 7th, 2009
Ally Sharp is a teacher, writer and editor, and technology trainer.