By ALTHEA WALKER

Principal, McMahon

Elementary School

What do clay, paint, crayons, wire, and an iron have in common? They are all supplies that students at McMahon Elementary School will use to express themselves in art class this year. Kyna Pitula and Brian Woodson will introduce their classes to a wide range of art media. They will talk about cultures in far-off Africa and Egypt. Lessons are designed to meet the curriculum demands of the Maine Learning Results, allowing students to “demonstrate an understanding of how achievement in the arts can support achievement in other disciplines.”

Van Gogh, Picasso, Mondrian, and Warhol are some of the artists students will study in depth. Students develop an understanding of different artistic styles and approaches as they replicate the works of these famous artists. This exploration encourages McMahon students to develop their own tastes and positive attitudes. Starry Night paintings and others may appear at the end-of-the-year art show, an event at which the art teachers display at least one piece of artwork from each student.

It is not unusual to see the art teachers reading to their students as they begin a new lesson. In one recent class, Pitula read Whale in the Sky as an introduction to Native American art and totem poles. Students listened to Pitula read this story about a village and the people who lived there.

It is the goal of McMahon’s art teachers to provide students with fine arts opportunities that will help them make choices once they are in the middle and high school. At this point, Pitula is very pleased with the manner in which the Lewiston School Department has handled the demands that the No Child Left Behind legislation has placed on the fine arts department. She says that Lewiston has one of the best art departments around! Stop by the art show in the spring and see for yourself.


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