On Monday March 7th, one hundred seventy two 5th grade students from Jefferson Elementary School went on a field trip to the Newark Museum. Ms. Kruglinski, the Jefferson Art teacher, planned this trip to motivate students to learn about the visual history of our world. The Newark Museum offers students a unique experience that cannot be replicated in the classroom. While at the museum, students focused their visit on three galleries; American, Asian and African galleries.
The most important takeaway from this field trip was that field trips make learning FUN! Students enjoyed meditating amongst Tibetan art, including an altar that was blessed by the 14th Dalai Lama. They collaborated to write poetry about a contemporary kinetic sculpture. Additionally, students investigated the symbolism behind American portraiture. In the African galleries, students passed around artifacts and then used their imaginations and wrote a dialogue between two sculptures within the gallery.
With the highly interactive activities provided by the Newark Museum, students engaged in a multi-sensory learning experience. At the museum, students engaged in the process of inquiry: asking questions, collecting evidence, and constructing explanations. The field trip activities fostered students’ critical-thinking skills: analyzing, reasoning, problem-solving, and creative thinking. This field trip to the Newark Museum deepened students’ awareness of New Jersey’s cultural institutions and gave students an understanding of the museum as a place for lifelong learning.
Not only were the 5th grade students engaged in learning but they were also very inspired. Ms. Kruglinski and the 5th grade teachers were also inspired by the art and artifacts that they saw at the Newark Museum. Ms. Kruglinski plans to use this inspiration for the remainder of the year, integrating it into 5th grade art projects. The museum exhibitions were interdisciplinary so the 5th grade teachers plan to enhance school-based learning across subject areas based on what they saw at the Newark Museum.