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Bird-ollages: Putting the "A" in S.T.E.M.

December 7, 2017

Yesterday morning I joined my mother's third grade class to create a series of bird collages or bird-ollages, as my mother termed it. The third grade class started studying ornithology (the study of birds) in their science class as a part of their third grade curriculum. The class takes monthly bird watching walk to gather data to answer the research question:"How do birds fly and how does that relate to their size?" 


The class is working to observe, identify and classify birds into groups. This includes creating field sketches during their monthly walks. As a part of our bird-ollages I spoke about some of my volunteer work over at the Mass Audubon Museum of American Bird Art and the artist work I've seen exhibited ranging from finished paintings to the very field notes and notebooks they used to create the paintings. We talked about what skills an artist would need to capture a bird and its environment such as observation, identification and anatomy of a bird. Then, how artists will take their field sketches and notes back to their studios to create different bodies of work out of different medias such as paint, prints, larger scale drawings, collage works, etc. 


So we set to the task of collaging five birds that are found in New England: a Great Horned Owl, a Chickadee, a Blue Jay, a Female Cardinal, and a Great Blue Heron. While making sure we observed the photos considering the details, colors, and textures of each bird and from there we create some awesome collage works of art based on combining our skills in the sciences and the arts!



 Check out what some of the kids thought about the connections of art and science!









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