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Another question: Is there an ecological artist or nature specilist
(maybe someone who rehabilitates wounded animals) in your community that
you could bring to your class? Or is there a reclaimed animal habiat or
ecological site in your area that you could take the children to to let
them experience your topic first hand? Is there a site that you could,
with your class, help restore or turn into a preserve which might
include sculpture or other art works? When I taught middle school art
in GA and did a unit on the environment, I found that the most effective
way to involve them was to take them behind the school into the woods
and study nature firsthand.
One activity that I borrowed from a North Carolina Outward Bound
ecological education book was called "One Square Foot." The students
each found a spot in the woods apart from one another and sat down.
They spent several minutes observing their habitat and then answered
questions that I had devised about the square foot of land in front of
them. You could use questions such as the following:
Is there any evidence of humans in your area?
What types of plants do you see living in your area?
What animals or insects do you see living in your area?
What do you think would happen if garbage were dumped in your area?
If it flooded?
If it didn't rain for weeks?
If all the trees were cut down?
You get the idea. Maybe this could be a lead-in activity for you to
introduce artists who do restore the environment and recreate habitat
for animals. I found it very effective with my seventh graders. Plus
who doesn't love getting out of the classroom!
Hope some of this helps,