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January 26, 2015

Giant Bugs at MV Beattie Elementary in Enderby inspire Lake Kathlyn Elementary in Smithers

Guest blogger Cathy Stubington is the Infusion Teaching Artist at MV Beattie Elementary in Enderby, BC, one of the six schools in the current Infusion Cohort program. Cathy shares one of the arts integration projects she recently worked on with students.

We learned about insects in Grade 3/4 at MV Beattie Elementary. Each student chose a photo of a bug, explored its details, examined its contours and created a preliminary sketch.

Learning about its habitat, food and relationship to us humans was fascinating. I created little books called My Bug to help them gather the facts. Through drawing, booklets explored:

  • what my bug looks like
  • what it eats
  • how it eats
  • how it moves around
  • an extra special interesting particular fact about my bug

After moving to a 3D exploration with plasticine, students blew their bugs up to giant size by using a simple process that can be used to make anything (without the mess of papier-mâché). We compiled crumpled newspaper, plastic bags, masking tape and strips of box card: insects that were normally 2 inches were suddenly as long as your arm! This photo is of a bug in process.

We coloured them by gluing on colored tissue paper. This is a fast way of "painting", also with less mess! I use this technique often in my community art practice. Mix water and white glue in a yogurt container, then, using a paint brush, apply a thin layer on your bug. Place the tissue paper on top. Voilà! Coloured thorax. You can layer the paper to create multiple colours. You may add a thin second layer of watery glue on top of the tissue paper.

I recently shared this technique in my travels to Smithers, BC with Lake Kathlyn Elementary School. The students and teachers were thrilled to create huge bugs, alevin, fry and giant salmon.

The MV Beattie students took their bug discoveries further, to share with the school. They each made a lino block of their bug, to print onto colourful cushion covers, that are now used for comfy reading, by all the students in the school!

Learn more about the Infusion Cohort program.

Read more guest blogs about Arts Integration in Action!

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