Students in JK, Grade 1 and Grade 3 recently finished their non-fiction, interdisciplinary unit on animals. This incredible project integrated STEM, social studies, literacy, art, technology, library, and research skills into each grade's unit of study. Their work is currently on display in the Animal Expo Exhibit in Millie's Garden.
The girls in junior kindergarten studied various birds that frequent the Stuart campus. Students researched non-fiction texts for facts, and by illustrating, sculpting and documenting the visitors to their bird feeder, the girls each compiled a journal. Additionally, the girls constructed a bird blind for up-close observations. In their art class with Mr. Duque, the students explored shapes, color and textures through the study of birds. They created collages, oil pastel compositions and sculptures of nests with clay. The girls are practicing communication, fine motor and social skills in their process of creation. Mr. Duque reports, "They are growing in confidence, express ideas and are able to use their knowledge to design."
In first grade, the students read non-fiction texts which integrate with their study of Howell Farm. The girls researched facts regarding the farm animal of their choosing and wrote and illustrated reports using the information they had collected. In art class, the first graders created compositions based on their individual animals and research. They looked at library books, photos and toys to study the animal forms forms. In the studio they created collages, oil pastel drawings and sculptures in terracotta.
The third grade students studied the history of Native Americans as the first settlers of New Jersey. Their work exhibited in the Animal Expo incorporated how the New Jersey native animals helped the Lenape to survive. The third graders published a research report and created informational pamphlets to share their research, which are on display at the Expo. For the Animal Expo, the girls included an exhibit of New Jersey fauna. Using their STEM research, they studied animal shapes, textures and colors in the art studio. The girls created sketches, oil pastel compositions, collages and clay sculptures. Mr. Duque described the third graders as, "open minded, risk takers and very creative." See photos of the Animal Expo in our photo gallery or in the slideshow below.