Ahhh... Ras Natango Workshop - Teaching out of the Box
by Tamika Williams
(Ahhh...Ras Natango Gallery and Garden, St James)
Four Boys from Buckingham School wrapped in wool blanket at Ahhh...Ras Natango workshop
As a teacher for over two decades when I retired I had to find a way to interact with children.
Being owners of the Ahhh...Ras Natango Tourist Attraction in the rural community of Camrose it was easy to embrace the Buckingham Primary School.
On Friday November 9, 2012 we hosted the grade four (9 year olds) from the school for an Art Workshop.
A cold front descended on the island so we were forced to improvise.
Setting up in the Juice bar we entertained and taught 16 students, their teacher, and their guidance counsellor.
Fog was all around and we could hardly see anything.
The children began complaining of being cold and so I took all the blankets from my couches and covered them ... then the fun began.
The topic was who is an artist and what do they do?
Such a broad topic ... and language, science and maths were integrated inyo the lesson.
The children learned about different types of artists, their styles and their gifferent media.
This was such a successful class because at the start of the class the response to who is an artist was someone who paints, but at the end of the class, they were able to supply the following.
A Fashion designer is an artist who draws and designs clothes.
An Interior Designer is an artist who desings the layout of the inside of buildings.
An Architect is an artist who does drawings for buildings.
A Graphic Artist is an artist who makes designs on the computer.
Literary artists are authors of books.
Illistrators are artists who create images for books.
One child got up when asked who is a visual artist and demonstrated with two fingers across her eyes.
The session was expected to last from 9.30 am-11:30 am but it went on for three hours, and they learnt about sketch artists, printing and creating designs.
The class was divided into two groups when they visited the gallery, and it was priceless as each group gasped "WoW" upon entering the gallery.
The children enjoyed the class and though the rain prevented them exploring the garden we are confident the went away with a clearer vision about art.
We have three other schools wanting theit students to visit us and experience the art workshop, which is geared at both students as well as teachers.
This offers us the opportunity of teaching our children in another way ... it's a great start.
The last question asked of the students was "Who is an artist?"
The eager response was "Someone who creates things".
We closed a great workshop feeling we had accomplished so much in three short hours.