In November, Antrim Elementary School (AES) fourth grade teachers Brianne Bastarache and Fabiola Woods worked with Harris Center naturalist Jenn Sutton to integrate art and outdoor exploration into a science curriculum focused on wildlife, land, and water. Students developed field guides based on their own research as well as outdoor explorations in nearby wetlands. Each student chose one animal to research for inclusion in a hand-drawn, three-dimensional field guide to the wildlife of Otter Brook Woods. The students also worked collaboratively on a mural depicting the animals they observed.
As reported in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, Bastarache said she wanted to show the students that learning doesn’t just happen in a class with a teacher, but that they “can learn on [their] own in the world,” Bastarache said. “We wanted to create experiences that were richer and deeper and will stay with them,” Woods said. For more photos and information from the AES mural and field guide project, visit us on Flickr, check out this audio slideshow of students narrating their field guide entries, or read the full article in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.