The Integration of Science, Art, and Literature

06 Dec

What do you call a group of butterflies? A kaleidoscope!

What do you call a group of second graders on a field trip to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Magic Wings Conservatory and Gardens? They are called Applewild students who are deepening their knowledge of science, reading, and art through a cross-curricular field trip.

Second graders have studied Insects in science this fall and have explored the life cycles and metamorphosis that many insects go through. They are raising mealworms and milkweed bugs. They have also done an author’s study of Eric Carle, who has a great affinity for and knowledge about insects, and read a great many of his books and examined his style of art.

To enrich the students’ knowledge and enjoyment of these topics, we traveled to The Carle in South Amherst and were lead through a gallery tour of Eric Carle’s work and were guided through “picture walks”, a wonderful method for children to access art and also the story that the art work is telling. Hands-on activities exploring color and light and nocturnal insects rounded out our gallery experience, and then we traveled to the art studio. Students were given materials and a prompt and then let their imaginations free, creating some beautiful creatures in the style of Eric Carle. We also spent time in the library at The Carle, exploring and reading other works of literature.

Onto the bus, we traveled to South Deerfield to the Magic Wings Conservatory and Gardens where we saw about 3000 butterflies of 35 different species flying among the beautiful plants and trees in the conservatory. We saw different stages of the butterfly’s life cycle and were able to see a number of different live beetles and reptiles. What we had been studying in science was now in front of us and actually landing on us – it was exciting and glorious!

Our students asked many questions and were full of observations during this magical trip, where the connections between their studies were made alive and fascinating. At Applewild, we believe that cross-curricular studies solidify students’ knowledge and make learning interesting and intriguing.  Plus, it’s fun!