Darius Kwang gazes at the brightly colored world that he just created. The eight-year-old Singaporean student is enrolled in Grade 2 at 3e, and his ecologically themed art project is one of the many cross curricular assignments at this innovative Lido campus, where inquiry based learning and practical creative thinking are championed.
A creative approach is apparent as his art teacher, Hannah Hendrickson, guides Darius through the project. Next to his drawing of planet Earth is a stack of Post-it notes, on which he writes various environmentally-friendly ideas. He thinks aloud, declaring each idea he jots down: “Use less water when you’re washing your hands! Turn it off until you need to rinse the soap off.”
Hendrickson patiently encourages Darius to find his own way, asking him: “What do you mean by ‘it’ Darius?”
“Turn the faucet off,” he replies.
She says: “Great word choice. Ok no problem, write ‘faucet’ on top of the sentence to make it clear. What else can we do to be green?”
Darius moves on to his next answer, adding several environmentalist notes to his drawing. Hendrickson tells us cross curricular crafts help children visualize complex concepts. “Through creating an art project like this one, they come up with their own pollution solutions,” she says, adding that this project helps children understand “that even individually they can make a difference by promoting environmental education.”
Age 5+ (adult supervision required)
• 1 piece of paper large paper
• Materials to decorate such as markers, crayons, and/or paints
• Post-it notes
1. Discuss the problem of pollution, specifically in Beijing. Help them understand how pollution is affecting the environment and their own bodies.
2. Draw a circle that represents our Earth on the large piece of paper.
3. Within the circle, draw a representation of a clean world. This could be a literal drawing of the Earth and/or things that keep the Earth clean.
4. With the child, brainstorm several ways they can individually reduce pollution and make the Earth cleaner. Write each idea down on a separate Post-it note.
5. Cover the Earth your child created with these Post-it notes. The Post-it notes represent pollution that covers the planet.
6. Take each Post-it note off of the Earth as your child works towards completing the idea written on the note.
7. Ideally, all of the post-it notes will eventually come off to reveal a clean and environmentally friendly world.
This article originally appeared on page 30-31 of the beijingkids March 2016 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on Issuu.com. To find out how you can get your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: Uni You