Tools of the Trade: Art Links to Learning

Photos of bags packed with k-12 teaching materials

Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

Crayola’s green and yellow, Elmer’s blue and orange. Essential iconic materials await teachers attending the Art Links to Learning Summer Institute held here today and tomorrow for teachers from Takoma Education Campus, Tyler Elementary School, and the Center for Inspired Teaching.

Teachers Take a Field Trip

Teacher Mary Ellen McCabe paints in the art workshop. Photo: Sue Ahn

Teacher Karen Johnson sketches in the dining room gallery. Photo: Sue Ahn

Since 2005, The Phillips Collection has solicited k-12 educators to be part of the museum’s Mentor Teacher Program, which enables best-practice school teachers to partner with the Phillips to produce and publish inventive lessons that weave museum artwork and visual arts learning into school curriculum. This past Monday, the museum hosted 45 teachers from Stafford Elementary School in Northern Virginia. The museum experience was a professional day dedicated to learning how art can inspire learning across the curriculum. Led by a four-person cross-curricular teaching team who first worked with the museum in 2006, teachers created watercolors that combined artistic imagination and scientific observation, made sketches in the galleries, and learned how to integrate the teaching of math, social studies, and language arts into studying and creating visual art.

Karen Johnson’s watercolor on the drying rack. Photo: Sue Ahn