Librarians teach about award winning books in elementary schools - particularly the Caldecott Winners. While we talk about artistic elements that help make a book the most distinguised, we impart to students the message that art tells stories and stories are art.
Despite the fact that no work in this medium has yet won the Caldecott, let’s focus on stained glass as an art form and as a way to tell a story collaboratively. In the middle ages religious leaders used art in the form of stained glass to tell stories and guide the general population. Stained glass is an art form using colored glass to helps control light (see article in Wikipedia). I love Robert Sabuda’s book Arthur and the Sword (available from Amazon.com) I shared this story with first graders in their classrooms this year while we talked about classics and legends. Additional information can be found on Robert Sabuda’s page .
Volunteer Michael Tyler shared background information on stained glass and we enabled the first graders to create a grade level stained glass window project. The illustration shows one small portion of our inverted U windows. The overall effect is dramatic and sets the mood for the environment. Because it was a joint effort, students took great pride in their work. Older classes continue to ask me when they get to create part of our library.
Through our collaboration with the art teacher, Tischann Morse, students viewed a large variety of stained glass window projects and Tiffany glass then used a computer program called Kid Pix to create computerized and paper versions.
We found additional lessons and resources here :
My favorite lesson and thinking about the teaching of stained glass comes from Linda Papanicolaou, Palo Alto Unified School District, Palo Alto, California.
KinderArt’s lesson on Stained Glass Paper Screen,
Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit on Tiffany,
Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit on the Cloisters, and
Pics4Learning’s examples of colored glass.
Because no paper or computerized project can suffice for the experience, I continue to seek ways to make stained glass inspirational to my students as an art form and a way to enjoy light. Fortunately in the town I live we have a local studio of custom stained glass, Natchez Studio. I spoke with the owner and instructor Rodger Dugan last Saturday about my students projects and to gather further background information. Rodger was a fantastic source of history and technique. In the store he provides all materials and tools plus teaches courses in
Beginning Copper Foil
Stained Glass Repair seminar
Rodger also welcomes inquiries from others because he wants to share his love of glass and stained glass as a way to express creativity. Natchez Studio is located at Midway Center, 11966 Lebanon Road, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122 TEL: 615 754-2136 Web address: www.natchezstudio.com Since a major portion of my mission in the school library is to inspire life-long learners, I am so pleased to be able to share this information with others. Never stop learning. Never stop seeking new ways to express yourself. Be open to new experiences. Consider taking a class on something outside your primary area of instruction.