Learning about art and science with LIVE animals?! Yes, please! That is what students get to experience when The Drawing Zoo comes to visit. Last week, we had the privilage of visiting The Drawing Zoo HQ to meet some of the animals and learn more about how teachers can take advantage of such a fun and educational experience. Artist Brittany Roger introduces elements of art while exploring topics like science, biology, environment, adaptation, and emotion. Through constructive observation, students are encouraged to explore their own ideas about the animals they meet and express those ideas creatively through art and conversation.
The Drawing Zoo houses over 30 critters including snakes, tortoises, turtles, rabbits, insects, and lizards! One of the amazing ways students learn is by looking at turtles and tortoises. Often mistaken for each other, students take the time to identify differences in the shape of their shell, snout, and claws. Students then express their observations using different elements of art like line, shape, color, texture, space, and form.
A typical visit involves an introduction to the topic, a warm up that prepares students to meet the animals, time to meet the animals through sensory exploration, drawing from observation, and sharing what they learned.
Lesson plans can also be tailored to focus on soft skills such as emotional behavior. An example Brittany gave for this approach was by introducing her chameleon to explore emotion and expression because chameleons actually change the color of their skin based on how they feel! The focus of conversation then shifts from shape observation to understanding and discussing how animals express themselves in different ways.
There is no doubt that The Drawing Zoo makes learning fun and with so many critters to learn about, students are sure to have a learning experience that will be hard to forget. Teachers- to learn more about The Drawing Zoo and their program offerings for the classroom, visit our their Arts Directory profile or visit thedrawingzoo.com.
Thank you Brittany Roger for welcoming Arts Every Day and allowing us to visit your amazing animals!