Artistic Expression

Young children benefit from having art experiences as an integrated part of the curriculum (Althouse, Johnson, & Mitchell, 2003). In the Reggio Emilia approach, the notion of 100 Languages is useful in helping teachers and children discover new materials they can explore the properties of, develop new techniques, use to represent ideas and themes. Clay can be a language, wire can be a language, pencils can be a language, and so on. In essence all of art is a language for helping children communicate ideas and feelings, and as such needs to be part of children’s everyday experiences. Young children can both learn about art AND through art - gaining an understanding of how to use a paintbrush, reflecting on how Van Gogh might have created those brush strokes, and experiencing the power of the ocean by creating a mural that shows how water moves.  This section provides inspiration for materials, techniques, projects, and connections to literacy and other content areas.

Source:  The Colors of Learning by Rosemary Althouse, Margaret H. Johnson, and Sharon T. Mitchell (2003). Teachers College Press and NAEYC