I am enjoying a rare moment of quiet during a week of amazing, hands-on, integrated, outdoor education with my 8th graders from Medomak Middle School. Each year we take the entire 8th grade class to the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park for this incredible adventure. The National Park Service offers a 3-day, 2-night program for students. You can learn about about the program at the Schoodic Adventure Education webpage.
Part of the program is designed by our staff. This year we had the students emulate the art of Andy Goldsworthy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TWBSMc47bw or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBcdL8uO71E&feature=related).
Our students created sculptures using materials found in nature, then photographed the sculpture and themselves with it, and sketched the sculptures.
In keeping with the Park Service mission of leaving no trace, the students dismantled their sculptures and returned the materials to the original locations. They will create books with the photographs, sketches, and a sensory poem upon returning to school.
It is so gratifying to watch students become entranced with creating art in the natural world. The power of this medium has opened their eyes to the importance of caring for our world, as well as caring for each other.