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Arts & Education: Teaching history through art

Posted: 2:34 PM, Jan 23, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-23 16:35:34-05
Arts and Education Art Through History.jpg

MISSOULA — We’re taking a look at a class where art and history come together for this Arts and Education report.

A class for fifth grade students at Rattlesnake Elementary School is combining art and history.

When we recently stopped by, SPARK! Arts Missoula teacher Alison Reintjos was teaching the kids about history and art in the form of “face jars”.

“So, the face jars have been a pretty important part of American Art History. They continue to be made today," she explained.

"They were initially made by enslaved people and then adopted by white culture and they continue to be made across the country,” Reintjos continued.

The kids didn’t just learn the history of face jars and their importance through books, they took their newly acquired knowledge and put into action by creating face jars of their own.

It’s a process that can not only help the students learn while also adding excitement to the course and make the subject matter come alive.

“I think there is special value to the crafts and utilitarian objects that people generally enjoy things that they can hold in their hands or use every day,” Reintjos said.

“In school, kids mostly work on paper based two-dimensional art, so I always enjoy when we can have a three-dimensional project," she concluded.