Museum Monday: The Beginning of the Journey-#BLOG365 Day 174 #sschat #museumed

Museum Monday, a day late…

Yesterday I was traveling from California to Florida and I completely forgot it was Museum Monday. I hardly ever miss a Museum Monday. They are, by far, my favorite blog post each week.

So…better late I suppose.

A few weeks ago I was reminded of the first school exhibition I did thanks to Timehop. It was spring of 2010. I was in the midst of trying to convince our school, community, and district that making our magnet program Museum Studies was viable. This was the one and only time the entire school created around the same topic. We tied it to a visit from author Chris Soentpiet. Each grade level drew inspiration from one of his books and the exhibits greeted Soentpiet upon his arrival to the school.

From Soentpiet’s book The Last Dragon kindergarten students recreated Chinatown.

Inspired by Around Town students studied architecture and built local famous buildings from cardboard and popsicle sticks.

Another grade read Coolies and created Coolie hats each with their own design.


First graders created individual packages and snowflakes for a train that represented a scene from Silver Packages.


Each exhibit included student generated labels describing the displays. We had student docents positioned around the school to explain each grade level’s project.

Now that I look back I think this may be one of my favorite exhibits. I now appreciate the common theme that tied the exhibits together and created a true exhibition feel. I remember how hard we all worked with our students. I remember the beautiful chaos of paint and cardboard in my classroom as we created Jacksonville’s architectural wonders. I remember the excitement I shared with my students as we researched buildings to create. I remember the visit to the Jacksonville Historical Society. I remember the alligator purse in the museum house there. The one that scared my nine-year-old kiddos.

We were all so full of enthusiasm, so ready for something new and different. We fumbled through design and project-based learning and arts integration and the end result was inspiring.

A few months later and we were awarded a grant to officially make us the 11th Museum Magnet in the nation and it all started here.

The rest is history…

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