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Students in Amanda Dungan’s third-grade class have spent the last few weeks learning about the costs and benefits of creating art.
Dungan and fellow Southside Elementary School teacher Krista Armes combined lessons on economics and painting in order to create an engaging learning experience for their students.
This classroom activity had additional significance for the students because after the paintings are completed, they would be sold, and the proceeds would help provide food for needy children in the community.
After several days of studying famous artist in history, the teachers gave their students $25 in fake money and assigned them the task of creating a work of art that was inspired by one of their favorite painters.
Dungan and Armes, who received a $500 scholarship from the state for this project, set up a store in the class and sold the students the materials they needed to paint.
The students had to use their money wisely by creating and sticking to a strict budget. This meant that before they started painting they had to estimate the amount of materials needed to finish, down to the number of squirts of paint.
Many of the students said weighing the costs and benefits was eye opening and rewarding.
Some students their spreadsheet looked something like this: One blank canvas: $12. Two new paint brushes: $8. Nine squirts of paint: $5.
Being able to learn to paint, manage money and help others all at the same time: priceless.
Dungan said she has been impressed with the quality of the students’ work.
Some of the painters that the students received inspiration from include Monet, Andy Warhol, Simon Silva and Diego Rivera.
The students completed their paintings, and their work was displayed at a gala at the Shelby County Public Library on Tuesday night.
After the showing, the paintings will be displayed at 19 local business and civic locations where they can be purchased.
The price of the paintings starts at $25.
All of the proceeds will go to the Shelby County Backpack Project, an outreach that supplies weekend meals and snacks for local children.