Fifth-grade students from Urbana's Wiley Elementary School are attending school at Krannert Art Museum this week. The project, called Krannert Art Museum - Week at the Museum, will run through Sept. 16.
To prepare, students read the book "Chasing Vermeer," by Blue Balliett, about two sixth-grade students who solve a case of a missing painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. The students in the story learn to ask questions, think critically and find clues to solve the mystery.
The book, as well as two museum exhibitions - "At Fifty: Krannert Art Museum, 1961-2011," and "Makeba!" - and the museum's collection of 17th century Dutch paintings, serve as the basis for integrated learning activities that include art, music, dance, drama, math, science, writing and history. Throughout the week, students will explore all of these topics through lessons taught not only by Wiley teachers, but also by other guest educators from Krannert Art Museum, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the Center for Education in Small Urban Communities.
There will be an open house at 6 p.m. Sept. 16 for parents to come and explore the projects that have been created. Families will be treated to a musical performance as well as the opportunity to see student videos, artwork and projects.
KAM-WAM is a pilot program that may be repeated, as well as expanded, to other schools.