• Lower Grades Studio Art


Art and Nature Go Hand-in-Hand

"We talked about these pictures and who made the sculptures in them. I looked at the picture I had a little more, and I could see how it was made from trees. [Looking at the pictures] "I like how this one of stacked rocks gets smaller and smaller. I like how the colors in this one [a pile of rocks arranged by value tones] go from dark to light, and I like the medium color in-between.

"After we looked at the pictures, we went outside and we got some things, and we figured out how to make a sculpture with the things we found. I remembered the woods in my backyard, and tried to build a sculpture of the woods. I used glue to keep the sculpture together."

First Grader, 2003

Teacher's comment: First graders learned about the process of environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy. This sculptor from Scotland finds both his inspiration and materials from nature. Building with ice, sticks, reeds, flowers, rocks, leaves, he creates beautiful mounds and arches that last only temporarily.

For the next step of the unit, the students went outside and collected non-living natural materials. After sorting the collection of leaves, twigs, and rocks, they glued and taped the materials onto cardboard in an artful way. To finish the unit, small groups of students worked outdoors together, where they built temporary Andy-Goldsworthy style sculptures on the campus ground, using only the natural materials we found outside.