Workshop on the Intersection of Ecology and Creativity.
This middle school integrated studies unit focuses on the nature of observation–that what we see often depends on how we see it. Our 7th graders are challenged with the task of investigating the biodiverse offerings in our own Ross Creek, as well as the Guadalupe River, from different vantage points and then expressing, both scientifically and creatively, what they have seen. Bringing together a study in ecology with the creative process, students learn that the same close observation skills are used across disciplines:
Science: Observing animal life with the use of electron microscopes and macro photography; identifying and classifying arthropods; assessing water quality and human impacts on our local watershed
Language Arts: Learning about the creative process from a visiting nature poet; poetry writing in response to prompts that ask them to unify their scientific observations with creative expression; sharing their creative work that highlights “things that go unseen” with peers
It’s an unfamiliar way of engaging with familiar things on our outdoor campus that leads to eye-opening results.