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Lesson Plans


A&E.A: Comment on Teacher Story

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Bryce M Downing (bmd)
Fri, 19 Dec 1997 09:53:02 -0700 (MST)

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These are some thoughts on the Pickerington Elementary School story
by Mary Sheridan. It appears in the "Art and Ecology Curriculum
Integration" section of the Art & Ecology section of ArtsEdNet (that's a
lot of sections!). If you have not taken a look, I would highly recommend
taking a peek.
The section of the web site explains how the students and teachers of
Pickerington Elementary School, located outside of Columbus, Ohio, engaged
in learning activities devoted to integrating environmental issues
affecting their community. The section itself is presented extremely
well. Besides providing pictures of students engaged in the activities,
the site also shows photographs of the local environment and examples of
the students' works.
The works of four students are shown in detail. The students,
Michael, Marc, Danielle and Danny, each chose a different focus for their
projects. Michael focused on bald eagles, Marc, on spiders, Danielle, on
a nearby wetland park, and Danny chose to show how the wetlands reflect
his senses. Each section also includes a response from one of the several
artists and teachers who colaborated with the students on their projects.
The responses from these adults, many of whom appear on this very
listserve, were as enjoyable as the children's work. I think it is
wonderful that these adults would help aid these children in their
learning and projects. Their participation was probably reward enough,
but I think they deserve a special thanks.
I think all of us can learn a few things from the people involved
with Pickerington Elementary School. It's unbelievable what can be
accomplished when a group of people, including artists, teachers and
ecologists, work together to teach children. I think it's even better how
they were able to address ecological themes in their studies of art. Not
only art, but a written element was included with each students' project.
Can you imagine if you would have had the opportunity as a child to gain
"hands on" experience with the environment in which you live and then able
to express it through art? I think it is a wonderful idea.
I think this project is phenomenal. When I am able to teach my own
students, I think providing my students with a similar opportunity to
learn about their environment would be a great benefit. I think adults
from many professions would jump at the opportunity to become involved
with the students in their learning. Just look at the cast Pickerington
was able to compile.

Bryce Downing


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