Tacoma Art Museum

Planning field trips over the summer is THE BEST. It’s easy to take care of a few e-mails and phone calls in July, and then POOF LIKE MAGIC suddenly it’s October and you’ve got everything squared away for a rawkin trip.

Today both of Wildwood’s HCP classes headed down to the The Shape of Things tour at the Tacoma Art Museum. It’s awesome going on field trips with Ms. Stock because we get to nerd out with all of our baby nerds. I also love seeing my former students now that they’re all grown up. And our trip was double-great because we had a TON of family members join us.

You know what else was fantastic? Everything and everyone at the Tacoma Art Museum. Their pre-and post-trip curriculum is SOLID. My favorite museum-going tip was to use “game show hands” to gesture toward artwork, rather than pointing. Yesssss.

We had a chance to explore geometric and organic shapes with watercolors, and then we headed into the gallery.

Our first stop was Richard Rhodes’ “stone wave.” It was suuuuuuper mathy. It made me think of Vi Hart’s work with hyperbolic dried fruit. Man, do I love Vi Hart.

My other favorite part of the trip was stepping into a portrait exhibit and BAM seeing a Chuck Close painting (Lucas, 1991). I’m a HUGE fan of last year’s Face Book, and it was amazing to see one of his pieces in person. My third graders kept saying, “He’s the guy whose book we saw in Seattle Public Library last year!”

The education coordinators were able to give us half off for our tickets. We would not have been able to go had they not made this funding possible, so we are VERY grateful for their support.

My only regret is that we weren’t able to time our visit with a children’s book illustrator exhibit. I’ve had the chance to see an Eric Carle show and a David Macaulay exhibit, and they blew my mind. BLEW MY MIND. Maybe next time, though.

Because we will absolutely be coming back.

Woodland Park Zoo!

Today, we had the opportunity to go to the Woodland Park Zoo! I’ll admit, I heard quite a few of my students say beforehand, “Uhhhhh, we go to the zoo evvvvvery yearrrrr.” But I’m pleased to say we had quite a fabulous time. We prefer the Woodland Park Zoo to the Point Defiance Zoo, and we also noticed that this zoo has a bunch of new exhibits that weren’t there a few years ago when some of us came as kindergarteners or first graders.

In addition to seeing all the fabulous animals, we also met up with Greg from the education department, who taught us about plant and animals and how they survive with each other. Here we are on our way to visit the komodo dragon.


He also showed us the tapir, the orangutan, the lion-tail macaque, and the siamang.

My group observed the jaguar walking like it was modeling on a catwalk!


My group of eight students (so well-behaved! Wheeee!) went to one of the aviaries where we saw birds less than three feet away from us.



The weather was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, and whenever we got cold we were able to go to an indoor exhibit.



Not all the animals were exotic. In fact, we all enjoyed hanging out with the enormous chubby squirrels.


Burke Museum!

 We went to the Burke Museum today, and it was fantastic! Not only was the lesson really interesting, but everything was perfectly appropriate and well-organized. The kids had a chance to touch First Nation artifacts, and everyone had great feedback. They adored the Carnaval exhibit, too.

Here are a few photos from our visit.

Learning about First Nation artifacts.
Students wearing carnival masks in front of giant puppets (people stand inside the puppets to hoist the giant people up on their shoulders)
RAWR. Red fox.
Listening to different Hawaiian instruments (look at everyone dressed appropriately in uniform!)
Mask and costume from Carnaval exhibit.
Stereotypical Seattle behavior — recycling and garbage separated outside at lunch.
Heading home. The weather held out all day!

A million and a half thanks to EVERYONE at the Burke Museum. Everyone we encountered, including the patient gift shop cashier, treated us with enthusiasm and kindness.

Huzzah! Next up: third grade field trip to Seattle Children’s Theatre’s production of Frog and Toad!

DIA Museum Trip!

If I had a travel budget to take my class around the world, you can bet a big part of our visits would be spent in museums. Art is such a tremendous way to learn about history and the world around you, and I wish we could spend time close to the masters more often.

I’ll do my best to document my trip today to the Detroit Institute of Art and post it here. The DIA is one of my favorite museums in the world (The Henry Ford is undoubtedly the best, of course, and I also like the National Museum of Scotland and the National Gallery of Art in DC), and going there was about the only thing I told my parents I REALLY wanted to do when I came back to Michigan this summer.

Here are a few pieces by artists we’ve studied that I’m REALLY excited to see.

"Giant Three-Way Plug," Claes Oldenberg
"Dancers in Repose," Edgar Degas
"Basket Set," Dale Chihuly
"The Bird of Washington or Great American Sea Eagle," John James Audubon

And no visit to the DIA would be complete without an extended visit to the jaw-droppingly magnificent Diego Rivera mural (It’s the one you’ve seen in the Chrysler Imported from Detroit commercial).

"Detroit Industry," Diego Rivera

Rad pictures hopefully to come tomorrow!


Changing our Future TOMORROW!!!

Salutations, ladies and gentlemen! I am deathly ill (agaaaaaaain), but the only thing that’s keeping me going is that we’re going to the University of Washington TOMORROW!!! I’ve been looking forward to this all year, and I’m excited we were able to snag a tour of Suzzallo Library!

I learned about this new version of the Aesop’s Fable “Belling the Cat.” I must find it. You should check out the Web site — it’s fantastic!

And here’s a link to the UW virtual tour we explored in class on Friday. Enjoy!