It's Speyer @ the Museum! Field Trip Round-Up Part Two!

83. That’s the number of museums in Manhattan…and we are pretty grateful to have them all right here, in our “backyard,” to use as an extension of our classrooms. Which of the 83 have our students trekked to recently? Read on to find out!

Speyer’s second grade made their way to the New York Historical Society, to expand on their study of New Amsterdam and the relationship between the Native Americans and the Dutch. The students participated in the museum’s Life in New Amsterdam program, looking at images and paintings depicting life here in New York, 500 years ago. Moving through the exhibits with the lens of a historian, students analyzed artifacts such as tools inhabitants would use to help them survive. They also were able to look closely at beaver skins and understand how difficult it was to acquire food and water.  Examining the environment long ago gives our students a sense of how much change and development has happened, allowing them to understand where we are today. 

Meanwhile, Speyer’s sixth grade headed to the Guggenheim Museum, where they toured the “Hilda af Klint: Paintings for the Future” exhibit.  Hilda af Klint began painting her radically abstract pieces in 1906, years before Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, and others would take similar strides in abstract art. It was a fitting trip to see the art of a woman whose nonconformist art predated the emergence of abstract art by about five years as part of the culmination of their “experience of women” unit. The sixth graders engaged with the work and had a wonderful experience at “the spiral temple of non-objective art.