Saturday, April 6, 2013

Integrating Science and Art

I was about to begin an artist study of Georgia O'Keeffe with my 2nd graders when I heard that they would soon be taking a field trip to a local botanical garden.  I met with the classroom teachers who explained to me that the field trip was targeted to enhance the 2nd grade science study of plants and animals.  One key idea of the science unit was symbiotic relationships.  As explained in this lesson, a study of Georgia O'Keeffe is a great way to teach the artistic skills of drawing large & filling the space of the paper.  In addition to teaching art skills, I knew that I could also reinforce science concepts with this project.  
The symbiotic relationship between a hummingbird and flower

With the support of the classroom teachers during the field trip to the botanical garden, the 2nd graders kept their eyes open for real life examples of flowers and creatures that have symbiotic relationships.  They came back to the art room with firsthand knowledge and authentic examples for this art project.

Students sketched Georgia O'Keeffe style flowers first, making sure that they were large and falling off the edges of the paper. They added color with dry chalk pastels, then later added details with wet chalk pastels (so cool!).  Students then chose a "creature" to add on top of their flower to demonstrate symbiotic relationships.  The creatures were painted with tempera cakes, cut out, and affixed to the flowers. The results paid homage to Georgia O'Keeffe and Mother Nature in one project!

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