Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse Program

Committee Chair

Karen Kaufmann

Commitee Members

James Kriley, Randy Bolton


University of Montana


Children are born with the desire to create. As soon as they can grasp a crayon, children doodle and scribble readily when given the opportunity. During my teaching career, I have worked to develop my student’s artistic skills in the 4 grade classroom. The goal has been to showcase the student’s creativity in a year-end art show. During the show, students have the opportunity to become “teachers” to the community, which in turn, fosters self-confidence and leadership in my students.

Throughout the school year, I worked with students to find new ways to show visual arts through the use of technology. Due to a variety of circumstances, my plans changed dramatically. I limited my original vision of class-wide photography, but as the saying goes, “when one door closes, another opens”, and several students created amazing independent projects.

As the year progressed, my students took on a variety of mediums: colored pencils, watercolors, printmaking, photography, and videography. Many students were excited to show their work at the “2nt‘ Annual 4,h Grade Art Show”. Some students were more apprehensive, but they took the risk and proudly displayed their work to the community on May 17, 2008.

The art show was like a long birth. At first I was excited, but then I just wanted it to be over! First, a tiny cafeteria was transformed into a gallery quality space, which was no small undertaking. Working with classroom parents, the Family Resource Center, and staff members, we put nearly 20 man-hours into setting up and tearing down the gallery and print-making stations, and an additional 20 hours of labor in all other preparations. That doesn’t include the time the students spent creating art!

The past year was challenging for me because of a school-wide mandate to increase test scores at our school. There were times before the art show I contemplated not doing it. But at the end of the show, when a student said, “Thank you for doing the art show,’ I realized that next year I will continue to carry on my classroom tradition.

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© Copyright 2008 Jeannette Marie Slattery