In Art & Ecology Curriculum Integration, Mary Sheridan posted a great
lesson plan for forth graders. Sheridan had students create ceramic tiles,
poetry and prose, and decorated containers that illustrated their thoughts,
feelings and emotions on the environment in which they live. Students
learned these art works from various artist around the world. Each art
work centered around ecological issues concerning the environment. This
lesson teaches children about ecology while keeping interest alive. Also,
children are introduced to various types of art and literature while
learning to interpret, discover and invent ideas surrounding their
environment. All the art works are gathered into what Sheridan calls the
Environmental Issue Package Project. Such a project is useful for teaching
children about art, writing styles, ecology, cooperation, self-esteem and
community awareness. And, many lessons can be derived from this teaching
If I were to use this teaching concept in one of my classes, I would
consider the issues surrounding the desert terrain. This would include
evvironmental issues such as climate, housing, flash floods, land currosion
and water supply. This lesson plan would be geared towards the awareness
of various weather conditions, terrains, cultures and living environments.
Kids would create art works expressing their environment to kids around the
world using Email accounts or mail delivery, depending on typed of art
work. For instance, if a student writes a poem about the monsoon then
Emails to other students around the world. Children would learn about
different art and writing while becoming familiar with other ways of life
and environments. Take for example, children who live in New York City
could explain to someone in another city isssues of subways and polution.
Children who have never been to NYC would be knowledgeable about that city.
What a great way to explore the world.
This lesson plan can be used to teach many subjects. One subject area
could be government and the differences in policies or laws of various
states. Children could share their findings with other children in
different states. Another subject could be wild life habitat in
surrounding forests, deserts, beaches or lakes. Taking a step further,
Students can draw cactus on ceramic tile or write a poem expressing hot
summer days after researching on climate or vegetation. Much can be
learned using this type of lesson plan.
Students would learn valuable topics concerning their own community as
well as other communities and the cultures found in those communities.
Also, students would learn the importance of self-expression through use of
art and writing. Most importantly, children would learn how to connect
with others and appreciate differences.