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Teacher of the Arts

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Teacher of the Arts: Penny Tucker

By Joanne Spataro
Correspondent

Teacher Penny Tucker mixes a healthy dose of art history into her watercolor classes for kids. At South Elementary School, part of the Mooresville Graded School District, she teaches children in kindergarten through third grade about the artists they are emulating on paper, including Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Édouard Manet and Andy Warhol . The UNC Charlotte graduate also gets students into pottery and oil pastels, all while fostering a culture of cooperation.

Sneaking in vegetables: Tucker works in lessons about teamwork in her classes. “We just try to have fun with it but sneak in as much learning as possible without the kids realizing it,” she said.

Measuring up: The new school year brings art assessments at the start of Tucker’s classes, but she doesn’t use them to judge her students’ artistic abilities. “It just has to do with developmentally where they are,” Tucker said.

Art all around: Although her students are young, Tucker feels they are old enough to put art into the context of daily life. “We talk about how art is kind of all around you and you use your imagination to work out things,” she said. “Sometimes it’s to make a pretty picture somebody likes, but sometimes it’s to fix a car that’s broken.”

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