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Behind the Scenes: YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs Program

July 19, 2011
Coming into my second month at the museum, I am beginning to learn more about the different facets of our education department.  Last week, I participated in our YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs Program, a week-long program that employs interactive gallery experiences through tours, as well as hands-on art activities based on objects explored in the Museum.  By documenting my first experience with the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs Program, I aim to shed some light on our summer programs at the DMA.
 

Tour supplies

Our week begins on Monday at the Grand Prairie Boys & Girls Club.  My colleague Melissa Nelson and I head out in the beloved Go van Gogh® van, armed with a bag full of art supplies.  Because it’s our first interaction with the students, we start off with introductions about us and the Museum.  As a group, we talked about the different collections the DMA has to offer and what their first visit will be like.   Finally, we ended the session with an art activity, in which the students drew their own museum filled with items they collect at home.
 

On Tuesday, the students traveled to the Museum for their first visit, and the tour theme is Animal Safari.  The Animal Safari tour is a fun and engaging tour that encourages students to look closer at the different types of animals found in artworks throughout the Museum.  Some activities I included are an animal scavenger hunt in the American silver gallery, an acrostic poem about a seal or sea otter spirit mask, and a drawing based on the sculptures of mythical animals (aso) from Indonesia.  You can find more interactive activities on our Teaching Resources page.

Preparing for an Animal Safari tour

On Wednesday, we went back to the Boys & Girls Club and reviewed some of the animals we saw on the tour.  Two objects that we asked for them to recall are the sword ornament in the form of a lion and the mythical animal (aso).  Inspired by these two objects, the students created their own animals with Model Magic clay.  It was a great way to connect the students with the artworks and spark their interest in returning to the Museum on Thursday.

On Thursday, the students returned to the DMA for a second time, ready to participate in the Heroes tour.  During the tour, students explored characteristics of heroes and what it means to be a hero in artworks from diverse cultures.  During the tour, we read Courage by Bernard Waber, drew a hero portrait, and wrote a story about heroes together as a group.

Students working hard on their trophies

Our final meeting took place on Friday at the Boys & Girls Club.  We reviewed the different roles of a hero and talked about which artworks we liked the most.  One object that was visited was the Nautilus Centerpiece, which is a yachting trophy.  In this activity, students created their own trophy that either represented themselves as heroes, or to give to someone they consider their hero, like a family member or a friend.

Artist Trophy

My first week with the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs Program has been a blast!  I can’t think of a better way for students to spend their summer than having fun with art and taking the time to look, question, and create.

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits

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