Teachers use Van Gogh, da Vinci, to inspire young children

Instead of drawing stick figures, kindergarten students at Figarden Elementary School are learning from the great renaissance painters on how they can express themselves.

By looking closely together as a class at a Picasso or a Cezanne, 4- and 5-year-olds are learning how to observe and translate their thoughts into language and listen and respond to multiple perspectives.

This approach for K-12 students was developed about 20 years ago by the co-founders of Visual Thinking Strategies, a nonprofit based in New York that provides training in the method to schools and art museums. More recently, the nonprofit has introduced the concept to pre-K classes.

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