One of PTA’s Accidental Secrets: The Art Docent Program

We didn’t mean for it to be this way, but we think this great program might just be a secret.  To our knowledge, the art docent program has existed at La Mariposa since year one.  For those of us that have been around, we’ve seen the projects come home…most recognizable…2nd grade dinosaurs…5th grade paper collage a la Matisse Cut Outs…and 3rd grade collaborative tint and shade projects that can be viewed on classroom ceilings Open House Night.  However, we are not sure most parents even know the program exists or that parents have such a unique opportunity to be apart of learning at La Mariposa.

So what makes the PTA Art Docent Program different than other art in the classroom?

Parent Volunteers Lead the Lessons

Parents in each classroom, we call them “docents”, lead 4-6 lessons every spring.  The program is currently available to grades 2-5.  Docents have a notebook with instructions for each lesson and collaborate with teachers so students get the most out of the program.  We find it to be a great way to volunteer and get to know the kids in your child’s classroom.

Lessons Are Less Directed and More Abstract…in general

Most Art Docent lessons focus on an element of art design like pattern, texture, op art, or color.  Some lessons also incorporate a type of drawing like still life or perspective drawing.  Many times students will gain experience in a medium that haven’t used before, like oil pastels and for the first time this year, liquid water colors.  Occasionally a lesson will only be an exercise or practice and no finished product is achieved.  Often, when viewing a class’s finished products together, you will notice a greater variation than what you would typically see in other classroom art projects.

After 10 Years, It’s Time For A Facelift

We will be revamping this program for next year.  We have lots of great ideas we’ll be working on over the summer and plan on rolling out the updated program in January.  So when you see the volunteer spot on your teacher’s list next year, don’t be afraid…we make it easy on you and the rewards will last a lifetime.

See some work from Mrs. Hughes’ third grade class below.  You can click on any of the images to view it larger.


2 thoughts on “One of PTA’s Accidental Secrets: The Art Docent Program

  1. Pingback: PTA Fundraises More Than $100,000 a year: Where Does it Go? | La Mariposa Pawprint

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