Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Artist's Walk

I was looking up the benefits of taking students outside for class and came across an idea known as the Artist's Walk. It was created by a teacher in Ontario. For the past couple of years she has taken her 8th grade  students on a walk every Friday morning. In order to engage her students she created a narrative guide for their walk. She chose 5 specific spots, a tree, school field,an area with rocks, top of a hill and a stream. For each stop, she collected some of her own reflections as well as those of poets, artists and others who have written about that characteristic. Afterwards she had students write and talk about their experience. Many students stated that they were able to notice things they never took time to notice before. She even had students create their own versions of the Artist's Walk. Some used the stopping points and found songs that applied to them and were able to relate this aspect to their lives in general. Other's were able to speak of the fact that nature can inspire writing and creativity. I think this idea is pretty powerful and can really open up the eyes of our students and take them out of their element. I wouldn't mind using this idea in a classroom one day.

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