Third graders in Ms. Ellis’ class at Talbot Elementary School recently participated in a Side x Side program led by teaching artists Cat LaBarre and Nance Parker that helped to teach a life science and literacy unit through drawing and sculpture. With the help of the garden teacher Anna Franceschetti, students learned about decomposers found in the compost bin. Based on their study, students began with drawing sessions led by Cat LaBarre, who taught them how to create scientific drawings of their chosen decomposers. Students then worked with Nance Parker to create sculptures starting with building an armature out of newspaper and pipe cleaners, layering papier-mâché on top, and then painting their sculptures to bring their decomposers to life. The program culminated with a show and tell event where students had the opportunity to share their research books, scientific drawings, and papier-mâché critters with other students. The sculptures were then exhibited in a display case in the school.
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