JK105 Zoologists Inspect & Illustrate Animals & Wildlife

JK105 Zoologists Inspect & Illustrate  Animals & Wildlife
  • Academics
Mara Rubin, Junior Kindergarten Teacher
A few months ago an interest in animals was sparked in JK105 as they were playing with toy animals. As teachers started to share a few facts about each animal, the students were very engrossed with the factual information and continued to want to learn more. From there, they began delving a bit deeper and first explored the big cat family. Students studied and examined the characteristics of cheetahs, lions, tigers and the lynx. 
After learning about the lynx, students were asked to illustrate an observational sketch of one.
In an observational drawing, one looks at the details in an object and sketches the image using their “scientific eyes.” When we look at something with the intent of drawing it, we tend to look more carefully than usual. Young children mostly see the shapes, patterns and colors and how all of the details connect. 
Before drawing a second sketch, teachers met with each student to discuss their art. Together they looked closely at both the picture of the lynx and their first drawing while observing the shapes and details they saw. Students were then asked to share what other details they noticed in the photo that they had not drawn. After the discussion, they drew their second sketch and kept in mind the details they wanted to add.
This was their first time doing this type of observational drawing and working with teachers for feedback. The students' drawings and the many details you see in both the first and second pictures truly speak for themselves. We are incredibly impressed with their work.
As the weeks have gone by, the curiosity in animals has continued. Most recently we studied giraffes which the students learned are the tallest animal in the world! The children were excited to find out giraffes can see predators from far away and they can eat leaves off of tall trees. We watched videos and researched where they live, what they eat and how they drink water with their long necks. As a culminating project, beautiful giraffe drawings were made using pencils to sketch the giraffe’s body with an emphasis on its long neck, its coloring and spots. We then used modeling clay to create their bodies. The children spent a long time working on the details that most interested them. We finished with water colors to create the perfect habitat for our giraffes.
As we begin our last semester in JK, the students are excited to create their very own JK105 Zoo. We look forward to seeing what this will look like! 



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