Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Painting with Garden Plants

There’s one last experience I want to share about Outdoor School before I forget it all together.  We did a very enjoyable art activity in the garden while we were there.  After learning about the life of the garden and sample tasting many of the plants, the students used plants to make paints and their own art work.   This was such an enjoyable process and of course it utilized all the Tools of Maturity.  They used what was available this time of the year for the different colors:

brown came from dirt
red from red swiss chard
green from lemon balm
yellow from yellow calendula flowers

Depending on the time of year you could use
beets or strawberries for red,
blackberries for purples.
Can you think of any other plants you could use for different colors?  It’s kind of fun to think about.

 See below for some of the art work.

calendula flowers
Mashing the calendula flower.

student art with garden paints
adult art from garden paints

example of garden paint art

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kids Respond to Nature!

     Every year we take the 6th grade students to Outdoor School or Science Camp for a week, Monday to Friday.  I’ve always thought that it was a great experience for the students as they get to have “hands-on, experiential approach to science education, and focus on adventure, self-discovery, and environmental stewardship”.  They get to explore different eco-systems such as the redwoods, marsh, beach, oaks, and meadows to name a few. 
    This year, as I looked at the program through the EFL principles, I was able to understand the benefits of this experience in even more depth.  The students mellowed with their exposure and close contact with nature.  The jaded facade that they had begun to wear as they grew use to middle school melted away and their childhood wonder came out to shine. What a great experience!