Art Literacy in the Classroom
Art Literacy presentations are presented six times during the school year at the elementary level and three times a year at middle school. As a volunteer, you are assigned a classroom to present the lessons/art projects to during regular school hours. This is an opportunity for those who enjoy working with students in a teacher-like role. The classroom teacher remains with the class, but you are presenting the lesson. The Beaverton School District requires a simple application form and online background check, at no cost to you, to be filled out prior to volunteering in any school.
The artists that will be presented during the year are pre-selected according to a rotation that includes a painting, non-painting, 20th century artist, woman, minority or regional artist as well as introducing art from another culture. At the elementary level the arts education focus is on the Elements of Art.
The middle school program varies slightly in that generally there are only three presentations each year, one each trimester. The artist lessons developed for middle school more closely tie to the Social Studies curriculum for 6th to 8th grade students. The arts focus for the middle school program is on the Principles of Art.
You can see the rotations and a schedule of the artists month by month by looking at the Box Rotation section on this website. Each year the rotation adjusts to bring a new set of artist lessons to the students.
All Art Literacy volunteers attend a training meeting before each classroom presentation. The times and days for these are determined by each Art Literacy school coordinator, but most have an evening and a daytime training time. Here is where the volunteers receive a copy of the lesson they will be teaching and go though it as if they were in the classroom setting. The art project students will be doing is demonstrated and explained and volunteers are encouraged to do it so they will have a better idea of how to explain it to the students. The art productions are chosen to reflect the objectives in the lesson and all of the supplies are provided by each school program. Classroom assignments for volunteers are made at the beginning of the school year and the presentations are scheduled with the teacher to take place during regular school hours.
The PowerPoint lesson presentations vary in length depending upon the age of the students, from about 15 to 30 minutes followed by the production time which is usually an additional 30 minutes.The lessons are written for the volunteer to follow in presenting the PowerPoint portion of the presentation. They cover objectives which help meet the Oregon State and Beaverton School District curriculum standards for the visual arts.
Generally, the lesson and art project are presented and done within an hour. It is a busy hour! Total time commitment for each lesson is generally between three and four hours which includes training, classroom and prep time. There are six artist lessons presented during the year from October to June at the elementary level and three lessons in the middle school.
It is an extremely rewarding volunteer opportunity for both the volunteer and the students.