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?

service (take 1)

Today’s lesson: service.

August 4, 2007: ~2 hours, 2 children, average age 8. With a little maternal help (thanks mom!) we weeded the garden inside the patio at the Baha’i Centre and planted a beautiful row of geraniums there. To give a little bit of context, we looked at a photo of the terraces at the Baha’i World Centre beforehand and explained how the Baha’is had created the beautiful gardens there for the entire world to enjoy.

garden supplies
our garden supplies.

weeding the garden.

botany lesson
mom gives the kids a botany lesson.

children's class: 1 root: 0
our kids with a stubborn root they helped dig up.

after weeding + planting 2

after weeding + planting 1
after weeding and planting.