In mid-November, lower school teacher Jeannette Bhatia had Jan Pitcher, a local artist and author, come to her grade 3 science classes to share her Endangered Animals series, a printed series featuring endangered and extinct animals.
After talking to the class about endangered animals, a presentation that included the importance of recycling, Pitcher had the students do an art project. Following her presentation, students “each began researching an animal of their choice that lives in the United States,” said Bhatia. “Each child writes a summary about his or her animal and will later make a drawing of it. All of the written pieces and artwork are uploaded to Blurb, a website that will put all of the elements into an electronic book. Hard copies will be sent to some of our sister schools, and they will also be available for purchase.“
Pitcher’s impact on the class and their interest in endangered animals can be seen in letters students wrote to her afterwards. “You make me think about how every animal counts, and what we can do to help them,” said Andy Lee. Another student agreed, saying, “I did not realize how dangerous one plastic bag is.”
The students were excited to begin their research, partly, Bhatia thinks, because Pitcher’s presentation “was both inspiring and motivating.”