Animal Experts Find Links between Science + Art

How it is that animals understand things, I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak.” ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, author IMG_8832

Dear Families and Friends,

It should not have been a surprise to us that Cushing’s second graders are experts on animals. As bright, observant young scientists, they are attuned to their world and  are surrounded by local artist, Bernard Langlais’ wooden wonders.


Today, leading with their own definitions of imagination, including, “Something that you think of or make up,” and “Mind tricks,” students were ready to connect their knowledge of science to the making of art.

IMG_8733Before we dug in, Alexis took the big leap, modeling LEAPS’ adventurous spirit.

Each morning we start with a book, and today’s was Biggest, Strongest, Fastest, by Steve Jenkins. Kids gathered new data for their memory banks and shared a long list of animals they adore: bugs, giraffes, kangaroos, dolphins, killer whales, dogs, horses, ducks, snakes, zebras, squid, wolves, penguins, antelopes, pandas, and cats.

“When can we start?” one boy wondered.

IMG_8751After our team learned a few animal facts, like cheetahs have black under their eyes and leopards don’t, Alexis demonstrated some new techniques, and kids began their pairs’ experience. It’s never a snap for second graders to work through problems as a team, but this class certainly did. As the kids said during the morning’s reflections, “We solved problems.” “We created.” ” We were focused.” “We did teamwork!” “You inspired us!”

Here is some of this morning’s artwork, and some comments kids made in the process.




“This is a coil reef!” “My bite idea is really getting famous! People really like my bite idea.” “They definitely are ‘think- outside-of-the- boxers!'”

We taught kids about texture (“It sounds the way it looks!”), collagraphs, and collaboration.
Kids showed us that when they’re moved by curriculum they will seriously sink their teeth into it.

On a day of discovery and invention, kids found joy in linking art to science. Until tomorrow, Nancy, Alexis, Sandy, Sarah, and Susan


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