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In November, Antrim Elementary School (AES) 4th grade teachers Brianne Bastarache and Fabiola Woods worked with Harris Center teacher-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.
A proud Antrim Elementary School student shows off her handmade field guide to the Great Brook Woods. (photo © Jenn Sutton)
Antrim Elementary School students work on a mural depicting local wildlife with Harris Center naturalist Jenn Sutton.
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.”
“We wanted to create experiences that were richer and deeper and will stay with them,” said Woods.