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Jackson Pollock Riding The Great Wave off the Island of La Grande Jatte

Jackson Pollock Riding The Great Wave off the Island of La Grande Jatte

Katsushika Hokusai (c. 1829–1833)

Teaching is a great responsibility. We work hard doing our best to make our lessons engaging and memorable experiences for our students. Teaching is also a fun and humbling learning experience for teachers.

When it comes to fun, however, I’d respectfully say that to teach art is double or triple the fun of any other subject, even when you don’t get the results that you expect out of a lesson.

Jackson Pollock: Convergence (1952)

Recently, I prepared a lesson about Japanese printmaker Katsushika Hokusai. The Big Wave off Kanagawa is probably his most famous piece.

I prepared this lesson for a class of my youngest students: 3, 4, and 5-year-olds. My students were engaged and enjoying Hokusai’s art. At the end of the class, we sat to reflect on art, which is a habit that all artists use.

I asked a room full of little artists: Who can tell me the name of the artist that we learned about today? Many hands quickly went up.

Several little voices happy to participate and show their knowledge took turns offering their responses:

Georges Seurat: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884)

Their answers made me crack a smile. I almost laughed. My mind was busy with the question: “Should I be worried that they didn’t remember the name Hokusai, or should I be super proud because they know the artists Seurat and Jackson Pollock?” I chose the second one and reminded them of the name Hokusai.

Teaching is full of surprises. You reflect every day on what your students need. You engage and persist in teaching what they should learn, one day after another. And you smile.

Dyango Chavez Cutiño
Nov 14, 2019
Tags: artist

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