The Thousand Word Project is a program that explores the relationship that exists between written communication and visual art and, in doing so, provides teachers with a powerful tool to teach skills and concepts fundamental to language arts and essential to students meeting the requirements of the Maine Learning Results. We welcome your feedback on how well it works and how to make it even better. Please feel free to share your ideas.
TWP began as a museum-based program that allowed students to explore works of art by direct viewing. To accommodate the changing needs of Maine teachers, we have shifted all of the information delivered in TWP sessions to this website. While this format is more convenient, we lament that it means that students lose the valuable experience of visiting a museum in person and directly observing actual works of art. Classes are still welcome to visit the museum for TWP sessions, and we strongly encourage this use of our galleries and collections. If interested in scheduling a visit, please contact Anthony Shostak (firstname.lastname@example.org) (207) 786-8302.
The tangible focus of TWP is writing. Maine teachers have developed a set of rubrics in response to Maine Learning Results standards that allow them to evaluate progress in writing. These rubrics are applied to TWP participants’ writing. The Project empowers teachers with an innovativing way of achieving MLR standards for English Language Arts, specifically sections D, E, F, G, and H, dealing with viewing strategies, the process of writing and speaking, conventions of language, stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing, and research-related writing.
An essential goal of the Thousand Words Project is to create a framework that allows the Museum to continue to serve as an important and valued resource for educators and students in surrounding communities and at Bates College. Connecting the arts to writing underscores the seriousness of cultural literacy. Language and writing skills are the cornerstone of education: their essential role in the development of young minds is unquestioned. We maintain that the visual arts hold a similar value. Like written language, the visual arts are far more than entertaining fluff; they are part of our way of defining and communicating who we are individually and as a society. Cultural literacy can only add to one's intellectual development, increasing the likelihood of an enlightened, successful, and fulfilling life. Studies clearly show that museum-going habits are formed in youth. It is then elementary that we offer a sequential program designed to build dexterity in identifying and articulating reactions to works of art for this young audience.
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