Craft in America: Teachers

54 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $19.99. ISBN 9781627898133.
Gr 8 Up—This award-winning series examines artists, techniques, and origins of American craft, and this segment follows four unique teachers who share their talent with students and artists of all skills and ages. Two Navajo sisters weave rugs and tapestries in the shadow of canyon walls. Their grandmother encouraged them to continue weaving "because one day you will travel the world and tell people about our work." The siblings believe that their skill is a gift to be shared, and they do so by teaching at a craft center with a focus on Native programs. For glassblowing artist and teacher Mark Mitsuda, instructing is about more than just knowing how to blow glass; it's about understanding materials in a different way. Artist Therman Statom, who works at a craft program for underserved youth in Omaha, NE, believes that teaching is the highest form of advocacy for change. The episode ends at a college in New York with professor Linda Sikora, who believes that being in the pottery studio inspires her teaching, which in turn influences her craft. While the DVD does not explicitly provide ideas for supplemental activities, it would serve as a good catalyst for writing exercises (about an inspiring teacher or a skill students would like to share with others) and craft projects.
VERDICT A great addition to public libraries with homeschooled populations as well as to school libraries. It also has a multicultural component, as the episode highlights several Native crafts.

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