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A forest of 5th-grade artists

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

BRAINworks educator Judy, in partnership with IS183 Art School of the Berkshires, brought science and social-emotional learning into her virtual 5th grade classroom this month through the power of collage! Over the last two weeks in four virtual classes with IS183, students have learned about collage, trees, and frottage: a colorful texture-rubbing visual art technique. Judy and IS183 educators Lucie and Brielle designed the lesson to incorporate both science and SEL standards. Students examined the natural characteristics of a tree (for example, its bark and how it protects the tree) and drew connections between the purpose of a tree's bark and what sort of things make the students feel protected in their own lives. Students have really enjoyed the lesson, and have produced beautiful texture rubbings and tree collages made of art materials and recycled household items. The final artworks the students make will be assembled into larger tree collages and displayed in the front window of the Brothership Building at 141 North Street in downtown Pittsfield, and will appear as part of the November 2020 First Friday ArtsWalk, a monthly program of the Downtown Pittsfield Cultural Association.

The partnership between Judy and IS183 is a mentorship project within the BRAINworks professional development program. Mentorship projects are reciprocal learning experiences between a Berkshire County public school educator and a local arts/cultural organization. Each party learns from the other, making this experience mutually beneficial. Check out the great student artwork in person on Friday, November 6, 2020!

Read more about the project in this Berkshire Eagle Article!

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