The Hoisington High School art class will be displaying their environment-oriented class work from 1:30-5 p.m. Sunday, during the Earth Day Fair at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, on K-156.
Art Teacher Christina Lamoureaux designed lesson for her students from a favorite local resource—Cheyenne Bottoms. “I began the lesson with a story about a pelican,” she said.
Pelicans feed other pelicans that cannot fish for themselves. “So the question ‘what can we learn from the animals like the pelican?’ turned into ‘what character core value can we learn from prairie animals?” Lamoureaux said.
If pelican exhibit generosity toward pelicans that can’t feed themselves, what behaviors do other animals exhibit that can teach us about valued human behaviors? Over a period of two weeks, each student was asked to select a prairie animal and study what it was about the animal’s behavior that can inform us about important human core values.
They used Sketchbook Express on their iPADs to present to the class their idea and research. Next, the students recycled old and discarded vinyl 33 1/3 records as a painting canvass.
They painted their prairie animal within a landscape on a record. Skills of representation were demonstrated and applied. They graded themselves. After completing this project, challenged them to a higher standards.
In the next two weeks, the students worked on improving their record painting. Several students became interested in the records themselves, how they captured sound.
“They created an ‘old fashioned’ record player,” the teacher said. This item further required them to understand how sound was put on vinyl and then amplified to the listener.
They used variety of materials – needles, a paper funnel, etc. – to hear the music, though faintly, from the spinning record’s grooves.
The whole class benefited from working alone and together – from researching prairie animals’ behaviors to discovering the technology behind pre-digital sound recording, Lamoureaux said. “It was a collaborative adventure.”
The hand-built record player along with about two dozen animal paintings on recycled records will be exhibited at the Kansas Wetland Educational Center to celebrate Earth Day and will be on continuing display at the center through April 28.