Inspired by his visit to see David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibit now showing at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Mr. Royston decided to replicate the artwork with sixth grade on a smaller scale. Last week he took his classes out onto the Crocker Conservancy to create their own bugs!
Learn more about this fun art activity in the video below:
“From an educational standpoint, David Roger’s art work aligns perfectly with what we do here,” comments Mr. Royston, the Upper School art teacher. “His focus on educating the public in areas such as conservation and preservation tie in wonderfully with the NEAL program. It’s a really cool project.”
Nature-Enhanced Approach to Learning (NEAL)
At Powhatan School we use an approach called Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning (NEAL). NEAL is a lens through which we can teach any or all components of our curriculum. We use it to bring our students outside into the natural world and to bring the natural world indoors to our students.
Some may have the impression that NEAL is an “add-on” to our science curriculum or an outdoor education unit in our physical education program. Although both are good assumptions, NEAL (Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning) is far more unique and important than a unit or special trip. It is one of the many ways a Powhatan education is set apart from curriculums at other schools.
The Crocker Conservancy is a phenomenal asset to campus and allows students to learn in an engaging, real world manner. It gives us a perfect opportunity to bring in experts in the field to share their knowledge and passion for learning about the environment with our students.
– Mrs. Coutts, Lower School Science Teacher and NEAL Coordinator
Teachers create lessons that utilize nature to supplement classroom materials in order to engage the students. Lessons are designed to incorporate nature, regardless of the subject. The cross-curricular opportunities are abundant. It might be a field trip that combines language arts and survival skills taken directly from the novel Hatchet. Or an art and history collaboration that uses wild grasses from the meadow to construct ancient Mashuf boats.