Challenge 2- Nature #ArtsEdMonthAK

Alaska Arts Education Month is here!  We’re celebrating throughout March with a different Creativity Challenge each week.  Get inspired by the week’s theme to explore music, dance, theater, cultural arts, media arts, and visual arts.  Share creations by you and your students with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by tagging #ArtsEdMonthAK + @akartsed to join the party!  

Our second Creativity Challenge for March 6  – 10 is … #Nature!

Alaska is rife with endless views, entrancing wildlife and fascinating plant life. We love to play outside year round. Since nature moves our spirits and connects us to our land let’s check out some ways to create meaningful artwork with an outdoor theme.

We’re going to share a few ways to investigate nature through the arts. Some may work in your current educational setting and some may need to be saved for a different learning landscape. All can be adapted for different ages and abilities.


Erica Ross Still Life DrawingTry one of our AAEC Art Bytes: Ready for spring? We sure are. In this hour-long training with artist Erica Ross, educators try a distance delivery lesson that is adaptable for 4th grade and up.   This session features a still life drawing of flowers from observation. Find some silk flowers or even better dried flowers and berries from your local area.


Andy Goldsworthy Art Lesson PlanFound Nature Art!  This amazing lesson speaks to all ages and gets students outside! One added bonus is that it requires only your camera or student cameras! Study Andy Goldsworth and watch as your students create temporary outdoor sculptures. What a great way to combine physical activity, visual and graphic art! Grades 3-12.



Attungaruk the 3rd's WhaleAttungaruk the Third’s Whale: Integrate visual art and Alaskan culture with this fantastic plan from the Anchorage Museum.  Students will take a close look at a painting by Point Hope artist Simon Koonook. Students will then talk about working in a community after which they will create a collaborative sketch before moving on to make a painting of their own. Afterwards, they will discuss how working together is different from working alone.   This lesson works great for high school students and could easily be adapted for middle school.


healing Forest imageForest Theater Games:Check out the Healing Forest website for fabulous nature play activities and games. Known to increase self-expression and confidence, these acts are definitely worth taking time out for.  The website states that Forest Theatre “Enhances our observation and imagination. It builds our attention, and curiosity and will lead to higher self awareness and self control.”  These nature and drama exercises are meant to bring people from all groups together and are adaptable for all ages.


Peter and the WolfAlways a Classic: What better way to integrate music, nature and storytelling than introducing your students to Peter and the Wolf? This PBS website provides extensive lessons and teacher guides to teach everything about this timeless classic. These resources include lessons about the art of mime, listening activities, instructions on how to construct musical instruments and a card game with images of the characters and their corresponding musical instruments.


We hope these ideas spark your creative thinking for this first week of Alaska Arts Education Month.  Whether you create something from this list or from your own inspiration, remember to showcase your work on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #ArtsEdMonthAK + @akartsed.  Visit again for a new Creativity Challenge and more ideas next week!

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