Learning to Look

“The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Dear Families and Friends,

Tuesday’s trip to Wheeler Bay heightened kids’ ability to notice what they see. Each student spotted a tree in the distance and drew it in detail. All this close looking at trees amidst the beauty of the quarry (Kids remarked,“I noticed a bunch of rocks.” “There’s a bridge back there.” “I see footprints on the ice.”) has enabled their artwork to take on new life.

LEAPS promotes scientific thinking – skills like observing, classifying, hypothesizing and verifying, while also provoking kids’ imaginations. Today fourth graders shared their exquisite drawings from the Sanctuary and then got to work on the last stages of their tree collagraphs. Artists will reinforce their compositions with gel medium over the weekend, and kids will make their prints next Tuesday.

The final component of their project is to integrate their self-portraits with their impressions of nature. For this they will learn two new techniques.

Artists brought this week to a close with the conclusion of the story of Wangari Maathai.  In case you are learning along with the children, Maathai started the Green Belt Movement in 1977, which spearheaded the planting of more than 30 million trees in Kenya.

She wrote, “A tree…tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded, and that no matter how high we go, it is from our roots that we draw sustenance.” 

We believe that these fourth graders have deepened their confidence along with their roots. Their new perspectives will give them the foresight and energy to help sustain the planet for the future.


With hope, Nancy, Susan, Cindy, Alanna, Dee, and Emma


2 thoughts on “Learning to Look

  1. When these students are swimming in Penobscot Bay in 5, 10, or in 20 years, with their children, friends and family’s, they will greatful that they learned how to care for their environment that’s supports their community and earth.

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