As children we enjoy a natural curiosity about all living things. Young people discover Earth’s abundance in a variety of ways—from playing in the great outdoors, to creating in the classroom. For the students of Sabreena Jeru-Ahmed, an art teacher at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., lessons about the wonders of nature take place partly through art.
With a curriculum grounded in teaching students about the natural world and their relationship to it, fourth-graders completed a research project on Asian species in their classroom. Inspired by this project, Jeru-Ahmed then asked the students to showcase what they had learned by creating images of the different species in batik—an ancient cloth dyeing technique. The result is a gallery of iconic species like the Asian rhino and the less familiar gaur and gharial.
“Art is a perfect discipline to reach into different subject matter children are learning in other classrooms and provides an opportunity to convey it through the lens of feelings,” said Jeru-Ahmed.
The lesson for these fourth-graders is also a lesson for us all—a reminder of the value of nature and the understanding that we are all connected.