Jury Elementary Students Campaign against Global Warming through Music Videos

In late January, Lamar Harris collaborated with science teacher, Chaverly Morgan and Library Media Specialist, Jonathon Sanders at Jury Elementary to bring awareness of global warming to fourth grade students. Students read Global Warming by Seymor Simon and Energy Island: How one community harnessed the wind and changed their world by Allan Drummond. With Mr. Harris as a guide, students wrote their own original pieces of music and, working in teams, used iPads to create music videos. The end results were videos recognizing the importance of conservation. Footage is coming soon!

Planting the Seeds of Playwriting at Bel Nor Elementary

Dan Kelly worked with the fifth grade students at Bel Nor Elementary to bring to life the great work of Wangari Maathai. Using the books: Wangari’s Trees of Peace a True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter and Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola, students collaborated to write and perform original scripts. Prior to creating the scripts students worked together in groups to  highlight story sequence and scientific aspects of deforestation.

Please see the process and works here:

SLSL Process and Works at Bel Nor Elementary by Dan Kelly


Topics of Discussion: Collaboration and Integration

On June 25th, 2013, Springboard teaching artists, administrators, and classroom teachers met to discuss Science Literature Science Learning and its impact in the classroom. One thing everyone agreed on was that this program is most successful when collaboration occurred across the curriculum. SLSL took on a new life at the schools where arts and media specialists participated. Another topic of discussion was the importance of integrating Technology, Engineering and Math with the Science and Arts component, resulting in a successful STEAM project.

Airport Elementary Students Strive to Make a Difference

Abby Schwent worked with 4th Graders at Airport Elementary. She collaborated with the classroom teachers who were in the process of teaching students plant-life as well as one’s personal impact on the environment. Abby and the science teachers selected the books Wangari’s Trees of Peace and Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World.

Based on the books they were reading, the team decided that the overarching theme should be that individuals’ choices can leave a permanent mark on their physical environment.

Each student had the opportunity to create a painting, depicting their role in creating a sustainable future. Prior to the residency, the science teachers read the two books to their students and discussed the theme of how one person can make a great impact on the environment. Students were also asked to discover and research a method of conservation and sustainability. The paintings were then displayed together in a patchwork mural.

Below are two students proudly displaying their goals through their artwork:


Halls Ferry — Animal Research

At Halls Ferry Elementary, students in the SLSL program conducted research about an animal and then met with a partner to critique poems they had written based on their findings. Once the poems were polished, students shared their work with the class.

Combs Elementary Science Animal Unit

At Combs Elementary teaching artist Chinyere E. Oteh worked closely with Heather Mendell, the school’s art teacher, to assist students in book-making.  During their three sessions together, the teaching team guided students through the process of bookbinding using a simple Japanese technique. They also helped the students to write author bios, which accompanied their portraits. Lastly, Ms. Oteh and Ms. Mendell provided the material and instruction needed for students to sculpt a sea animal from Model Magic clay, create a habitat scene for their animal and have this scene photographed.

When asked about her experience at Combs, Chinyere stated: “Students took great pride in their sculpted animals and complimented each other on their creations. In my second year of teaching an SLSL program, I thought it worked very well to collaborate with the school’s art teacher whose guidance enabled the students’ science animal unit to truly come to life.”

Science Meets the Arts–Bookmaking

At Combs Elementary School, children in the SLSL program are learning all about animals—where they live, what they eat, and their mechanisms for moving around in the world. Through lessons inspired by Steve Jenkin’s story, Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember, Teaching Artist Chinyere Oteh has engaged the children in creating their own books about sea animals.

The book-making process not only exposes students to a wealth of information about ocean life, but also introduces the practice of conducting research, composing an author’s page, and assembling all documents into a polished handbound book.

The photos below capture the students as they excitedly explore the internet for images, videos and information about their selected sea animals. You will also see some of the fourth graders working on their author’s page.

Check back soon to see photos of the finished books!