artistic expedition

bosch gardensAn “artistic expedition” is an outdoor activity where children are asked to draw or paint something in nature. The idea is to teach the concept that whatever has been created reflects the attributes of its creator, as well as to give children the chance to get to know and appreciate the environment around them.

Choose a spot with a great diversity of natural subjects–hills, mountains, flowers, trees, bushes, rocks, birds’ nests, streams–is best, to allow the children as much freedom as possible in terms of what to draw/paint. Time alloted for drawing/painting depends on the children’s age and their ability to focus on their task; younger children (7-8 years old) might lose focus after fifteen minutes, whereas older ones (10-11 years old) might be able to work on more detailed art for up to half an hour.

As follow-up, ask the children to observe each others’ art, paying attention to positive qualities that set each child’s art apart. If the children are stuck for ideas, you could briefly ask them what the main focus of each drawing is, or, if they have some knowledge of the principles of art, ask them to evaluate the use of colour, harmony, or balance. Then, ask the children if they can tell what each drawing says about the child that created it. For example, a child who used many different, vibrant colours may might appreciate variety and diversity; a child who added birds, squirrels or other creatures might have a great love for animals; and so on. Finish by explaining the activity’s key concept: that which has been created reflects the attributes of its creator. Now that they have completed the exercise with each other’s creations, ask them to take a few moments to think about their experience in nature. What sort of attributes and qualities does nature reflect?

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