We have expanded our educational partnership with the New-York Historical Society to include our third graders' study of westward migration and the Oregon Trail.
Yesterday an art historian from the N-YHS joined homeroom teachers for sessions in each Third Grade classroom, introducing the boys to the ways in which the Hudson River School painters were commissioned to paint idealized paintings of the west in order to encourage westward migration.
Boys analyzed the paintings for both their historical context and artistic techniques. They were quick to point out that these beautiful works omitted some real life problematic issues of western settlement, such as cholera and flipped over wagons. They also discussed and practiced techniques to draw their own landscapes, including use of perspective, lines and shapes.
The boys are charged with creating a realistic water color landscape to show New York City dwellers what the west was truly like.
This partnership joins the ones in Grades One and Two, each related to a different aspect of American history. The sessions make history come alive both through access to N-YHS resources and the boys' making of art related to their learning.