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Lesson Plans

A&E recycling artists

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Lynn Hull (ecoartHulll)
Mon, 3 Nov 1997 00:37:01 -0500

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Recycling and art: a conversation with Jo Hanson of San Francisco reveals:

the San Francisco Dump/Disposal site gives tours to school groups,
has an extensive curriculum program and workbook for students. The tour
includes viewing dump site, recycling, hand picking over trash sorting
recyclables, compacting what's left for shipment to landfill site. gives
students a comprehensive idea of discards--begin to see them as
"resources". Apparently many cities have similar programs available.
Other northern CA dump innovations include Berkeley's flea market attached
to the deposit area where any remotely usable article is set aside for
public purchase, right on site. Marin county features domestic animals.
All garden refuse is offered to the herd of goats for consumption, and all
food waste goes to pigs. I assumed these are in turn recycled or mined as
"resources". San Francisco has a major city Christmas tree decorated with
decorations made from recycled widgets, accompanied by a handout of
directions to make your own. Viewing it becomes a street festival and gets
people talking about reduce, reuse, recycle.
An article I just read in the TIGHTWAD GAZETTE spoke of small towns
in New England having a "spring swap" day following spring cleaning, when
all residents put their discards out curbside for anyone in town to claim
for re-use. Another community building event which could be co-opted by a
In Jo's case, some students are invited to tour her studio and/or
the studios of other artists using recycled materials as art materials.
the dump tour, but the teachers introduced the ideas of art from recycled
materials before the excursion. Some teachers got photos of small details
from the sculptures they would be seeing, then the students would have to
find the photo detail in the works, identify the materials' origin, etc.
As one child, said on seeing the sculpture, "is this what used to be
garbage?" I assume on returning to class they created works of their own.
Jo had conversations with students which in some cases led to older
students setting up and monitoring recycling programs for their school,
helping younger children participate, particularly in the lunchroom.
Posters for directions, etc could be art projects....
Next time: ideas for school compost for wildlife; tree planting vs
birdhouses; water tracing. Stay tuned, campers!

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