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Ready for a field trip?

November 28th, 2016


An AGO Education Officer tours a school group through Mystical Landscapes. Photo: Sean Weaver, AGO.

Who says learning can’t be fun? Teachers and students alike have been wowed by our latest exhibition Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more, a unique opportunity to connect what is being taught in the classroom today with what the exhibition’s amazing artists were sharing with us decades ago.

We asked Niki Newport, a Teacher from Loretto Catholic Elementary School in Niagara Falls, to share her experience of bringing her class for a visit.

AGO: Why did you choose to bring your students to Mystical Landscapes? How does this exhibition fit into the curriculum?
NN: Ontario’s French curriculum, as well as our School Board’s philosophy behind learning French as a second language, emphasizes teaching the language in a way that will provide students with authentic experiences that they can use in real life – including learning about the culture of that language. Going to an art museum to see an exhibition with rare French paintings (that they would not otherwise see unless they visited France) is a perfect example of applying what we teach in the classroom to a real cultural experience.

AGO: What was the favourite part of the day for your students? For the teachers?
NN: The students were divided. Some enjoyed their tour of the galleries, as their tour guide presented the artworks in an interesting way and gave the students some time to look on their own. Others really expressed joy over the watercolour workshops. The teachers favoured the exhibits and would have loved time to peruse the gift shop and the rest of the building’s architecture!

AGO: Did anything surprise you about the visit?
NN: I was personally surprised by the lighting. It really added to the mysticism of the exhibit. I was also pleasantly surprised to see so many groups taking advantage of such an educational experience. Fellow teachers, your students are allowed to talk in an art museum!

AGO: Would you come again with your class? Would you recommend it to other teachers?
NN: Yes, our French class would return, and I heard other teachers saying the same thing to each other!

If you’re a teacher who would like to bring your class to the AGO, check out our school programs online. Want to join the AGO for free?  Click on our Teachers’ Access Program and find out more about specialized programs just for teachers.

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