April 11, 2014
Guest blogger Jan Minty is the principal at Edwin S. Richards Elementary in Mission, BC. "Adopt the Sea" is the theme of the school's arts based curriculum project at the school this year. Jan Minty shares how teachers and students are working collaboratively with two artists in residence, Lee Kwidzinski of ModernLee Dance and Shari Pratt of Creative Kaos, to explore movement and the visual arts infused with units in literature, science and social studies around the theme of the sea.
The real work of our staff and students has now begun for our arts based curriculum Spring presentation, Kiigad Gay. Ywaay.
In collaboration with our Aboriginal Liaison Worker and artist, Peter Gong, the cedar posts in our Intermediate area are almost complete. Peter has spent time with each of our classes explaining the symbolism of the sea creatures created on each pole. All of our teachers have met with our visual artist, Shari Pratt of Creative Kaos, and Lee Kwidzinski of ModernLee Dance Company, to begin to develop our arts infusion activities around the sea. Already we are seeing the effects of the pre-discussion in each classroom as I see students signing out books on the sea, sea turtles, and underwater submersibles. Even our teachers are excited as various additions to our original plan spring up: the adoption by individual classes of sea life animals through the World Wildlife Fund, our school adoption of Schooner the whale through the Vancouver Aquarium, and our school visual arts and essay contest.
Over the course of the next two weeks, Shari will be working with each of our Kindergarten to Grade 6 classes developing skills in watercolour painting, glazes or batik. In our physical education classes, Lee is beginning to develop, in collaboration with our students and staff, the learning around curricular areas in relation to the sea. Due to the size of our gym, our Spring Celebration is over two nights, with even divisions presenting one night and odd the next. We are excited to see how students will demonstrate their learning and understanding of the curriculum areas we are covering.
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