“Science isn’t just about solving this or that puzzle. It’s about understanding how the world works…about how all the different ways we have to talk about the world manage to fit together.” Sean M. Carroll, American Scientist
Dear Families and Friends,
St. George School fourth graders are breaking new ground at Jackson Memorial Library. In just 3 weeks’ time they’ve (1) made monoprints of themselves, (2) drawn detailed portraits of Maine animals, (3) created 3-D animal masks, (4) researched and written in their journals, and (5) designed creature collagraphs. They’ve hardly taken a breath.
“How do the students’ portraits and animal masks fit together?” a St. George teacher wondered as she surveyed the student art. I was so glad she asked the question.
For each LEAPS’ program we choose one Big Idea linked to grade level studies. During the month of November we’ve been building on fourth graders’ animal investigations – challenging kids to find intersections between humans and Maine animals. Our morning at Wheeler Bay Wildlife Sanctuary inspired everyone. Finding evidence of turkeys, deer, geese, ducks, beavers, and ospreys got them thinking. Kids immediately felt connected to their natural surroundings. We believe that once that bond is forged, their relationship with nature grows in leaps and bounds. Kids recognized at Wheeler Bay that creatures thrive in a healthy environment. And as humans we can impact their lives.
Now, well into their exploration, they’re beginning to think like pros. They’ve read about how their animal cares for its young, fights off predators, and know what’s needed for it to survive in its ecosystem.
When kids come back to LEAPS after the Thanksgiving break, they will print their animal collagraph on top of their self-portraits – forever defining their positive relationship with the animal world.
In our second student pop-up show, kids were excited to give each other feedback on the animals they created.
Investing in one animal has deepened children’s connections to all living things. Each day we’ve added a new art form and a new perspective. Making art has inspired fourth graders to go deeper. In the process they have become burgeoning scientists.
Mark your calendars for our St. George Student Exhibition at 9:00 AM on December 6 in Jackson Memorial Library’s Community Room! An invitation will follow next week.