Third-graders at Cornwell Avenue and George Washington elementary schools created classroom protectors as part of the Hofstra University “Art Travelers Through Time: Literacy and History Through Art” program.

According to the university’s website, the program provides elementary school students and teachers the opportunity to connect their classroom study of “Communities Around the World” to the study of authentic cultural objects from the museum’s large and diverse collections. These artifacts, and the experience of reading them closely, engage students in the discovery and creative thinking processes, supporting the development of essential 21st-century skills and reinforcing classroom learning.

Throughout the program, third-graders engaged in three separate interactions with museum educators. The first interaction began in November when Hofstra University Museum educator Elisa Bruno and graduate students Danielle Giovannitti and Brittany Kahn visited both schools to educate students on what observational skills they will need when they examine artifacts in the university’s museum, which was their second interaction. 

Concluding the program, Bruno returned to the classroom, reiterating the program’s themes and concepts by having third-graders create their own classroom protector. While visiting the museum, students saw statues and sculptures of warriors who protected their land and people. Inspired by these warriors, the students created defenders that would protect their classroom by gluing tissue paper and drawing multiple eyes to watch over the classroom – an owl for wisdom and a book to represent knowledge.