Eco-justice – Balance + Sustainability
Beautiful Sculpted Bees
There are thousands of species of bees. They are truly one of the most beautiful and collaborative types of insects on our planet but there is foreboding danger of the potential loss of the global honeybee population. The consequence of a dying bee population impacts humanity at the highest levels on our food chain. Since no other single animal species plays a more significant role in producing the fruits and vegetables that humans eat daily. Honeybees pollinate over 30% of our natural food. Students learn about bees and the phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder brought on by increased use of pesticides, the Varroa destructor parasite, shrinking habitats, multiple viruses, poor nutrition and genetics, and even cell phone towers. Students build their own colony using creative materials including bamboo and wire with Charmaine Lurch + Moojan Nazmi ~ Adaptable for all grades
Rose Ave PS ~ grade 5 bee sculpture creation ~ PHOTO ~ Jane Howard Baker
Eco-Systems of the World
Biodiversity is the variety of different types of life found on earth. An organism is a contiguous (things that are in contact or readily associated) living system. There are a variety of organisms present in different ecosystems. These ecosystems are a community of living and non-living components controlled by internal and external forces. Sustainability is the mindful management of the forces in our ecosystems to ensure ongoing production of goods and services to humanity. Students explore one or more ecosystems of the world, inter-relationships and how humankind can work to ensure sustainability through conscious living and create a mixed media art piece of an ecosystem that incorporates ideas for sustainability, individually or collaboratively. Elizabeth Greisman, Karen Harkins, Moojan Nazmi, Marsha Stonehouse + Allycia Uccello ~ Adaptable for all grades
Here we examine the universal presence of flow seen in successful natural and social organizations. See Energy + Matter
Primary students at Adam Beck + Rose Ave PS experiment with FLOW guided by artist Pria Muzumdar ~ PHOTO Kevin Arsenault
Artistic Process (coming soon)
Mapping My Carbon Footprint
A Global Climate Accord involving the entire planet was finalized in Paris in 2015 laying out a road map to speedily reduce carbon emissions. The accord comprises a longer-term plan for reaching a peak in greenhouse emissions and achieving a balance between output of man-made greenhouse gases and absorption – by forests or the oceans – by the second half of this century. This means bringing down greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero within a few decades. Let’s create our own personal map on how that can happen locally and globally. Examine our natural resources, manufacturing, and how we consume, discard and conserve. Where does it all end up and how do we, and can we, reduce our own consumption. Students build an inventory of their own carbon footprint (and yes, measure it!) and map, through new or mixed media works, our own journey to reduce, re-use, up-cycle and recycle. Charmaine Lurch, Samina Mansuri + Pria Muzumdar ~Adaptable for all grades
My Clothes My World (En/Fr)
Consumerism is one of the greatest contributors to climate change, and yet the average person finds it difficult to create the incremental change required to help combat this global threat. Here’s an opportunity to learn about the life cycle of a piece of cloth, from the original root to the fashionable stores where we shop. In partnership with Fashion Takes Action, Canada’s premier non-profit organization that focuses on sustainability in the fashion industry, we offer this lesson in biodiversity, social responsibility, fashion and art that helps students gain insight in how we consume and how we can affect change, locally and globally. The take away for students is a personal, hand designed, up-cycle book bag and new awareness of where it originated and ideas on where it could go in the future. Ideal for grades 4 to 8
Artistic Process + Short Film
The Royal Elephant of India
The Royal Elephant of India is an integrated visual arts, social justice, eco-justice and cultural project. This project teaches us that the inclusion of different perspectives can reveal the totality of truths, fostered by harmonized communication and respect for contrasting opinions. Our subjective beliefs limit our information and experience, leading us to overlook the real picture.
Norway PS students Batik creation of the Royal Elephant of India in parade
PHOTO Kevin Arsenault
The inspiring Folklore of The Blind Men and The Elephant, teaches students that empathy, active listening, tolerance, compromise and collective agreement can help seek reality. Students learn about the Indian Elephant (Elephas Maximus Indicus, one of the sub-species of the Asian Elephant) and their impact on society and the environment and vice versa. Moreover, the students are informed of the recent resurgence of the illegal ivory trade, leading the elephants on the road to extinction. Describing ways in which humans can protect the Indian Elephant, being an endangered species, inculcates the sense of inclusiveness and empathy amongst the students. The famous traditional Elephant Festival in India, inspires students to create their beautiful Royal elephants in mixed media, along with their classmates and friends. Piya Sharma ~ Ideal for grades 1 to 3
When the Wolves Returned to Yellowstone Park
Morse St PS students’ rich narrative creation of
Yellowstone Park and the return of the wolf
PHOTO Kevin Arsenault
In 1995 wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone Park after having been culled decades earlier. Since then Yellowstone has become a premiere scientific laboratory for wilderness observation and ecosystem recovery. Scientists have come from around the world to watch the effect wild wolves have on the park. We have discovered that an ecological effect called the trophic cascade has taken over Yellowstone, with the wolves initiating a more natural ecosystem balance than has been seen in over 65 years. For the full understanding of how and why this happened, see the story synopsis here http://www.missionwolf.org/page/trophic-cascade/.
When the Wolves Returned is an interdisciplinary art project inspired by the true story of the evolution of Yellowstone Park’s natural ecosystem balance as a result of humans taking notice of the important role of wolves and all animals on the sustainability of life.
PHOTO Kevin Arsenault
Actor Marina Gwynne takes us through the journey in spoken word and song, on how, through mindful observance, the Wolves were returned to Yellowstone Park, and so the wildlife and thus the health and wellbeing of us all was rescued.
Visual artist and project lead Allycia Uccello, along with her core group(s) of older student leaders, then takes students through a process of illustrating and mapping the rich narrative including its many characters and trials. The process involves lessons in illustration and research into the many indigenous animals and their habitat and even how the park changed over the century. Adaptable for all grades
How Whales Change Climate (in development for 2018)