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Teaching schoolkids in Tacoma to draw and paint animals. – Marlin Peterson
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Teaching schoolkids in Tacoma to draw and paint animals.

This June I again taught “science art” classes at Collins Elementary school in Tacoma….it was an incredibly rewarding experiencee, with much to learn for me and the kids. I taught 10 different classes over 3 days, and our projects ranged across the board-all of “natural” subjects that either the teacher or I chose.  We made puffins, tortoises, dragonflies,  salmon, crabs, goldfish, red-eyed tree frogs, and a geologic cutaway of the subduction zone below Western Washington state!

The vast differences between 2nd graders and 5th graders were astonishing, but overall I think that the step-by-step processes, media, and subjects that I came up with for each class were excellent.  We used colored pencils, watercolor, crayons, and chalk pastels.  They were all challenged, (including a few tears) and most all felt very accomplished at the end of their creations.  I just couldn’t believe how absolutely thrilled the kids were to be doing art; the teachers sadly confirmed that they did basically no art at all throughout the year.

With about an hour for everything: preliminary sketch, paint “theory”, painting, then touch up, we had to hustle.   Many of the kids had never painted anything before…I was their first!  What a burden to see to it that the kids didn’t develop any bad habits yet!

It went great, and I hope to teach more art in the future…I would like to try older kids too, I think a jr. high or highschool-age project/combination of science and art would be so cool to create .  I will keep you updated.   Enjoy the pictures.

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