This Month in Garden Arts

April & May Updates:

PreK 3:

PreK 4:

1st Grade

4th Grade:

March Updates:

PreK 3: sprouts are growing. This month Koala and Penguin planted pea shoots and Zebra and Water Buffalo planted radish microgreens. We observed and recorded, watered and tasted our sprouts. Spring is bringing us more lovely days to explore the garden.

PreK 4:

Making toys and Pretend Play in the nature center

1st Grade: 3 Sisters Gardening

2nd Grade: Puppet Making

4th Grade: Jacob Lawrence & The Great Migration

5th Grade: Yearbook Cover

February Updates:

PreK 3:

We are getting ready for Chinese New Year, creating tiger collages, and decorating a super long dragon. We also made expressive paintings where we experimented with different painting tools and listened to music for inspiration.

PreK 4:

Tigers and dragons oh my. We had fun creating and decorating for Chinese New Year. We also continued our exploration of materials, we learned about sculpture and assemblages and made our own wood assemblages out of sticks we collected from the nature center.

2nd Grade:

Here we are continuing our work on the Chinese New Year tiger mural and trying water painting to practice our brush skills. We are just getting started on a unit about "How We Express Ourselves" in this unit we will be collaborating on our work in garden arts and performing arts. We are starting to develop characters and scripts and will make those characters into puppets to perform with.

5th Grade:

This month we are busy completing designs for this year's Exhibition t-shirt, thinking about how to use symbols of social justice and resistance in creative and thought-provoking ways. We practiced critique in small groups and finally got to take a gallery walk and appreciate the finished designs. We will soon get to use our student agency to vote for our favorite design.

January Updates:

PreK 3: This month we are exploring different ways to express our feelings. We listened to different types of music that made us feel happy, excited, sad, scared, adventurous, and silly. We danced and then used drawing and painting to show what those feelings would look like in brushstrokes and color. We also worked on big hearts to illustrate the feelings in our hearts. We discussed what colors make us feel happy and discovered that we all have different happy colors.

PreK 4: Our first Garden Arts class this week was a blast! We will be having more classes every week for the rest of the school year. This month we are exploring changes in materials. We started with paint and discovered some exciting results mixing new colors. We are also exploring color mixing with transparent materials.

2nd: jumping right back into things, we are connecting to the Grade 2 unit "How The World Works". We experimented with both chalk and crayons to discover how we could change states from solid to liquid. It was so fun and we learned how to use some new tools. Look out for our collaborative Year of the Tiger Mural which will be displayed at the Chinese New Year Fair.

5th grade: We are looking to the Mexican muralists for their expressive and passionate murals about social justice. Soon we will begin coming up with ideas and sketches for this year's Exhibition t-shirt. Every year 5th graders get to design and vote on their favorite. The winning design will be printed on t-shirts for the whole class to wear at Exhibition. In addition we are discussing what "Black Lives Matter" means, and working on designs for a Black Lives Matter at Schools t-shirt. The shirts will be available for sale by late February.

December Updates:

PreK 3: is investigating what we can find in autumn in the nature center, and creating artwork inspired by the fall leaves. We are practicing fine motor skills with scissors and cutting paper for collage.

Kindergarten : Coming back from Thanksgiving break we took a hike to the nature center for an Autumn scavenger hunt. We are finally putting together all of the pieces of our Stories unit, the artmaking, expressive storytelling and movement and it it so fun! This week we are using our puppets in Performing Arts with Jillian Laoshi to act out some expressive movements. We also made some silly character paper bag puppets.

1st Grade: We are getting used to Garden Arts, using our new sketchbooks, and making connections to our unit about Design. We are learning about how artists make decisions about how to arrange compositions and how to use some of the principles of design. Our last project involved using symmetry in a design.

2nd Grade: We have finished working on our Community Garden Maps and are now learning about square foot gardening. This week we created plans for our own garden beds based on what we learned about the growing space required for different vegetables. We also took a quick tour of the garden.

4th Grade: We had our first class over zoom where we discussed all of the wonderful benefits of trees and read about Wangari Maathai and her tree conservation work in Kenya. This week we are inquiring into the different forms of energy that trees produce and how trees can be used to conserve non-renewable energy sources. We are just getting started on designing models of what this would look like.

November Updates:

PreK 3: is getting used to the garden and the new outdoor classroom. We are learning about how to water the plants and how to make art outdoors. We have also been observing seasonal changes.

Kindergarten : has visited the new garden classroom and planted some fall veggies, radishes, carrots and garlic! We are starting to make connections with the new kindergarten unit of inquiry, How We Express Ourselves. We are exploring story characters and using expressive lines, marks and colors to illustrate their different feelings. Next we'll be working on giant puppet head characters to use for acting out our own stories.

2nd Grade: We started our first week of Garden Arts! We are playing games, connecting, and enjoying our new sketchbooks. Next week we will start connecting with the 2nd grade unit, Where We Are in Place and Time through learning about important elements of a garden map. We will also be looking at some bird's eye view maps of the redesign plans for the Washington Youth Garden.

3rd Grade: We are still working carefully on cutting our linoleum blocks to celebrate the harvest through our art. The material has been challenging to work but we are persevering and next week we will begin the printing process.

5th Grade: This week in Garden Arts the 5th graders are making connections with their How The World Works, unit through exploring chemical compounds and pigments in plants. We are learning about how a plant's color can tell us about its chemical structure, health benefits, and how plants can communicate their needs. Next week we will learn about the compounds in herbs that give them their medicinal qualities.

September/October Updates:

PreK 3 is getting acquainted with Garden Arts. We have grown like seeds through plant yoga poses, read stories about artists and colors, and experimented with color changing and creating textures. We took a hike through the nature center and found some treasures to use in a nature collage.

Kindergarten : has started a unit about our relationship with nature. We began by discussing things we like to do in nature and things we don't like in nature. The kindergarteners had many varied responses to both of these questions and we created a list together and made illustrations of our favorite outdoor activities. We took a hike into the nature center to explore and observe. We found lots of cool materials to collect but weren't crazy about the mosquitos. We thought about how artists can connect with nature and looked at the artwork of Andy Goldsworthy, and intentionally arranged our own nature collages. Last week we looked at pictures of different types of green spaces both naturally occurring and human-designed, and thought about all the benefits and uses of both. In the next couple of weeks, we will visit our garden classroom space and start to think about how we can strengthen our relationship with nature by appreciating and caring for our green spaces.

3rd Grade : We are beginning this school year with the transdisciplinary theme, Who We Are. In Garden Arts, we are discussing special foods we eat at certain times of the year and harvest festivals. In honoring our special fall vegetables we are creating block prints that illustrate them. Creating a block print requires that we also explore different principles of design and elements of art such as composition, contrast, and texture, as well as learn new skills like how to safely use a linoleum cutter. Students are very excited to start carving their blocks. While we are waiting for our carving blocks to arrive we are doing some team building activities in the nature center.

5th Grade We are so fortunate to have experienced a special program from Casey Trees and DOEE for the month of September called Cleaner Air Tree by Tree. Students learned about the value of trees in our environment. They identified and assessed some of the trees on campus, measured air quality, and planted virtual trees using ITreeDesign . We also got to taste paw paws from our food forest trees. For the next few weeks, we are switching gears to focus on the importance of visual language and demonstrating all of the elements of art that we have learned throughout elementary school.