Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

What's going on in this museum? School Partnership Program

Partner: Maurice J. Tobin K-8 School

Educators: Michelle Grohe, Director of School and Teacher Programs, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Sara Egan, School Partnership Manager, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Brian Fizer, 3rd grade Teacher, Maurice J. Tobin K-8 School

Location: Boston, MA



Clairelys M. Colón, 3rd Grade
Persephone, 2014
Oil pastel, watercolor & pencil on paper



Nabeli Peña, 3rd Grade
The Courtyard, 2014
Oil pastel, watercolor & pencil on paper



Melonie Perez, 3rd Grade
The Garden, 2014
Oil pastel, watercolor and pencil on paper


What’s going on in this museum? is an exploration of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum through discussion, drawing, writing and watercolor. Students in the School Partnership Program develop important skills that prepare them for a range of college and career experiences while engaging in a facilitated museum program like “What’s going on.” Learning at the Maurice J. Tobin K-8 School, one of the Gardner’s partnering Boston schools, is infused with Visual Teaching Strategy (VTS) discussions in the classroom and at the museum. Tobin third graders visited the museum for their first time in December 2014 and used VTS to discuss a variety of artworks at the Gardner. Afterwards, students sketched and wrote to capture their responses to the artworks as well as plants and architecture in the courtyard. In the museum's Studio, students actively applied their observations and collaboratively explored oil pastels and watercolor paint in order to create the works of art displayed here.