This winter, we spent some time learning about and drawing birds that stick around in Iowa for the winter. Some of our cardinal drawings are posted elsewhere on the blog. We also drew chickadees. Lucy's drawing demonstrates an interest in creating contrasts. Tiny feathers on the chickadee's belly and neck vs. the bulkier feathers of the tail. Solid red berries vs. empty berries. Large empty snowflakes vs. tiny blue snowflakes. Lucy's drawing shows that she's thinking and experimenting as she works.
Paula took on a challenge when she chose a small reference photograph of someone handfeeding a chickadee. She dove in with a black marker and got a great result. The use of a few splashes of color enlivens the drawing, and the choice to omit the bird's eye adds interest. Paula seems to enjoy being a student during our art sessions and really adds to the group's work by modeling the courage, focus and encouragement that are our ideals for everyone.
Since the beginning of the year, Judd Lawler, dad and volunteer has been coming into the school to work with the kids on Art Wednesday afternoons. In the fall, the kids would sit outside on the lawn and draw landscapes looking out back of Prairie Green. Those who were ready worked on perspective and drawing things to scale. They moved on to watercolors and painting and now are focusing on drawing. Judd talked to the students about how all drawings come from a few basic figures. He worked with them on replicating these item on a small scale. Then Judd and the kids put all of these figures together and created a cardinal. Now, they have progressed to other birds and BJ even applied his art skills when drawing the Gruffalo for our play invite! Check out the art below!
Jack and BJ have been reading Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and are amazed with how much corn is in our diet! After reading about CAFO's (concentrated animal feeding operations) and before they read about Joel Salatin we visited Rapid Creek Ranch. It's a family owned farm only minutes from The Cosgrove Institute. This farm is run in a very environmentally conscious way and is based off of Joel Salatin's philosophy. Justin Wade is one of the farm managers and he took a hayrack ride to see the cow herds and chickens. Jack and BJ were well prepared as they fired Justin with questions. We collected eggs (they have 400 chickens so they collect around 200 eggs a day!) and even watched as a hen laid her egg! We purchased hamburger patties and brats so we can taste grass fed beef!
The class has been learning about nutrition. The students (and Paula) have been documenting the fruits and vegetables they bring for snack and lunch. To encourage a wide range, the kids fill in a rainbow of the colors of their fruits and vegetables they ate. Everyone needed a little help with the variety of vegetables so Paula thought the best way to introduce some of these would be inside something they already like...lasagna! We found a recipe on Cooks Illustrated for Vegetable Lasagna which had a white sauce, red sauce, YELLOW squash, GREEN zucchini and ePURPLE ggplant. On Wednesday, we all cooked together and made our dish! Check out our recipe for Vegetable Lasagna