Integrating Science and the Arts for Ecological Literacy
Art is a powerful catalyst for engaging students, teachers, families, and communities in environmental awareness that leads to increased ecological literacy. Whether in the nature journaling methods of the 20th century, Nature-study advocates, or the projects of 21st century artists utilizing public artwork to draw attention to contemporary environmental issues, art is a champion of progressive and environmental education through creative thinking and acting.
Eco-Art takes place in a variety of environments from the schoolyard garden, to parks, to the classroom, and easily integrates across Montessori curricula at all levels.
In this presentation, participants will explore nature-based art grounded in history, pedagogy, and methodology, while uncovering the ways in which natural elements are used to connect people to place.
Drawing on the strength of children’s inherent connection to nature, and Montessori's valuing of nature in childhood, this presentation will deliver innovative practical applications for integrating art and science into the classroom, while promoting a connection to place and the natural world right outside our doors.
Kelly, you have inspired me to move outside for all my extensions on the shelf! Can't wait to start journaling outside!.
Kelly Johnson (BFA, MA, AMS 6-9) seeks to guide humans to slow down and reconnect with their natural world through the arts and gardening. An artist, author, nature journaling guide, Montessorian, and children's garden educator in Neptune Beach, Florida, she spends her days creating art, teaching nature journaling courses, and sparking wonder in the garden with community children. She brings her lifetime of creative expression and gardening experience to Wings, Worms, and Wonder: the online home of her book, blog, workshops, online nature journaling courses, and garden consultations
I came out of this session with the thought that it's okay to start with what we have and that something is better than doing nothing because of fear of not having "expertise". Also, it was good to have the reminder about how important it is for children to have positive experiences with nature because we may be the only experience they get.
Cannot express enough how much this presentation sparked my imagination and my desire to get back into the classroom.
-Simone Boyle Nowacki-
We will look closely at
What is ecological literacy?
How and why to teach ecological literacy
The nature study movement and how it integrates with the Montessori method
Why blending art and science is valuable
What is Eco-art and why it's a great tool for nature integration in the Montessori classroom
Bonus Mini Course: Getting started with nature journaling
Bonus printables: Nature Journal Prompt Cards
"I loved, loved Kelly's workshop! She motivated me to start a little vegetable garden, and to add rocks, shells and flowers to my outside art area." -Ana Patricia Pasquel
"I really enjoyed this course! It has inspired me, both as a teacher and a parent, to get outside and connect! To make the time to observe, touch, and just be in the beauty that surrounds me, so that I may help to build a foundation for future stewards who love and respect our natural environments." -Leslie P.
"I loved that so many of these ideas can be completed on our patio at the school. I also loved that there were so many ideas that I didn't even think of, for instance sorting sticks (length/width) which is a comparable work to red rods yet it takes in the use of nature." -Maureen T.
"I have 10 acres and a large garden for the children to use. I enjoyed the handouts with the nature activities to do with the children. I also enjoyed learning more about how easy it actually is to create journals with the children. I am excited to see how they respond to this and if it actually sparks more interest in the garden." -Amanda D.
Frequently Asked Questions
So much amazing information and ideas of how to begin offering more Eco-Art. I love to get the children outside exploring everyday. Our outdoor classroom has opportunities for gardening, finding critters, sticks, river rock. Since watching this session, I want to incorporate Nature Journals and plan more intentional activities as well as activities that bridge what children are learning and doing inside with the outside environment with an Eco-Art twist.
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