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THE SEEING LESSON IN NATURE(A lesson plan designed by judy butzine and facilitated by Howard Bernstein, presented at a Focused Forum for Educators, Tempe, Arizona, April 1996.)
GRADE LEVEL: various ages 7-17.
LESSON DESCRIPTION: This ten hour lesson (five days) combines literature, the visual and musical arts to introduce students to the interconnectedness of all life (plant, animal and human) on this planet. Students work with paper cut-outs and water color technique. There is a field trip to the local botanical garden. These same participants may write prose or poetry to express verbally what they have learned. Music is continuously playing, related to the earth (auditory stimulant).
ART HISTORY OBJECTIVES
ARTWORKS REFERENCED - Winslow Homer, Henry Matisse and Henry David Thoreau. Musical compositions of your choosing.
COMMUNITY RESOURCE - "The Phoenix Botanical Garden, Utilizing the :Desert Detective"
Children's literature is read in the communal "Circle of Power" - passing the book around the circle of readers as each participant takes a turn reading and sharing their input on the information and illustrations shown on that page. The teacher takes on the role of facilitator rather than absolute director of the process responding to comments of children and their newly acquired knowledge.
Alejandro's Gift by Richard E. Albert
This story provides a rich context for teaching several environmental education concepts. One or several of these concepts may be the focus of the lesson, reflecting the developmental level of the audience. An art making activity follows.
Because there are no page numbers in this text, the first page with words has been identified as page one. Noted pages have recorded suggested environmental education questions to discuss.
Look back through the story and focus on the illustrations. Discuss the colors used, the medium, the expression of the animals and how the viewer felt reading the story. Illustrate for the student watercolor technique at this point. Allow the participants to practice using a crayola basic color palette and a larger brush that is not in the purchased container. Make sure the student waters down the watercolor paper lightly before beginning and proceeds slowly, not smashing the brush hairs down onto the paper. Show how one uses the tip and side of the brush and glides it over the surface building up layers of color, but not working too long in one area.
Questions: E-Mail judy butzine (firstname.lastname@example.org) BIBLIOGRAPHY
Brother Eagle, Sister Sky, paintings by Susan Jeffers, Chief Seattle's speech to the calvary .
Antelope Woman, paintings by Michael LaCapa, Apache, An Apache myth.
Alejandros' Gift, by Richard E. Albert, Illustrated by Sylvia Long, story set in the Arizona desert.
Old Turtle, text by Douglas Wood, Watercolors by Cheng-Khee Chee. A creation myth.
Meet Matisse by Neilly Munthe, Little Brown and Company, 1983. A child's reference book.
ARTISTS' REFERENCE BOOKS
The World of Winslow Homer, Flexner, Time-Life Library of Art, 1966.
In the Spirit of Mother Earth-Nature in Native American Art, created and produced by McQuiston & McQuiston, Chronicle Books, 1994.
The Cut-Outs of Henri Mattise by John Elderfield, George Brother, Inc. 1978.
Matisse, John Jacobs, Henry Adams, Inc.
Henry David Thoreau, The Poets Delay, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Rizzoli, New York, 1996