6th graders went outside and created nature mandalas with our student teacher Anne Scott, which were inspired by Morning Altars artist Day Schildkret…
I have quite an unusual mission: To make impermanent earth art every day. Ever since I was five years old, I have been creating art with the flowers, leaves, berries, and bark right outside my front door. This has always been a way for me to feel connected, both to my imagination and the whole earth. About five years ago, after a big break-up with my partner, I started this as a daily mindfulness practice to heal my heart, help me feel gratitude, connect with the earth and make meaning in my life. However, this art wanted to have a life of its own. Over the last decade, I have created over a thousand small and large earth installations that have inspired an international movement of people to get outside and make earth art. I even have a book coming out this October! And, here’s the unique thing: Every single piece of art I have made no longer exists and that is its power: Learning how ephemeral life truly is and to love what is here right now.
Students watched a video where Day describes a little about the process of morning altars and how it can transform our perspective. Then we went outside and walked the land to gather our own natural elements. We also provided the students with flowers, beans and strings. My student teacher lead the students to create group nature mandalas!
This was such an awesome day for this assignment. The sun was shining and it felt like spring. The outdoor classroom tables and benches that were created by George Washington Carver Center for the Arts students created were the perfect place for the groups to work.
Each team member of the group had to direct a specific ring of the mandala, sharing with the students how to place the materials. I found that a few groups decided on all rings together, while others really stuck to the one ring per person.
When it was time to clean up, the students were sad and disappointed that they had to clean up their mandala. Taking a picture of their mandalas before they cleaned them, seemed to relieve their anxiety of having to disassemble it.
Check out the video we made!
Earth Month is off to a great start!!
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