Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York City affords many rich opportunities to learn outside the confines of the classroom. Taking advantage of the rich cultural offerings is, in my view, an obligation of the intrepid educator. Children learn through experience. In a city as diverse as New York there are a myriad of adventures waiting to unfold that will deepen a students understanding. Attending live theater is one and visiting the many museums is another.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art at 1000 Fifth Avenue offers an exceptional program for school groups. They provide guided, informal and interactive, tours for grades K-12 across a spectrum of topics. These tours are free for schools located within the five boroughs of New York City ($10 per person outside of NYC). Appointments are required for all school programs and they book up fast! Click here to schedule a tour or call the reservation line at (212) 288-7733. Below is a listing of their menu.

Exploring Art: Discover a variety of art across cultures and through the centuries - strongly recommended for first time visitors.

America: Experience the vibrant spirit of America from 1700 to the present.

Ancient Egypt: Explore the fascination world of the ancient Egyptians - pharaohs, gods, tombs and mummies. Visit a temple that once stood on the banks of the Nile.

Mythology: Hear and see the exciting tales of the heroes, gods and monsters of ancient Greece and Rome, and how those themes influenced their world and ours.

I have been taking my students to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the past five or six years. It was our tour of mythology that sparked an intensive study of Greek Mythology in our first grade classroom that I will write more about at a later time.

Throughout the tour students are given ample opportunities to sit and sketch using materials provided by the tour guide. This activity meshes well with the philosophy of Reggio Emilia (observational drawings, using the environment) espoused by our school. Students are given educational materials and books to take back to the classroom. They also get a Family Pass which allows them to bring their whole family to visit at no charge. This allows the student to become the expert and show the family what they have learned. Teachers are given a DVD about the museum to share with the class either before the visit or as reinforcement to show at a later date. I have also used this experience in our shared writing activities.

Please note: They do not provide a cafeteria for school groups like the Museum of Natural History. Before our tour we usually eat lunch at the playground next to the museum, so hope for a sunny day. Enjoy!


Joy said...

oh I do love the American Wing. I'm glad your kids like MY museum. :)

d. chedwick bryant said...

NYC has so much to see and do-- kids who attend colleges in the city drink and drug a lot less than kids on some rural or small town campus in the middle of nowhere. The positive energy of the city is just always there.


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