Charlotte’s Web: 2nd Grade Arts Integration
As part of their 2nd grade arts integrated programming, Ms. Ali and Ms. Annabell’s second grade classes study the E.B. White classic, Charlotte’s Web. While the students experience the book during “read-aloud” time, their study of the concepts of the book goes well beyond hearing about the book. Charlotte’s Web serves as a springboard for learning in science, social studies, drama, and visual art.
“Charlotte’s Web ties in directly to our standards & themes,” says Ms. Ali. “First, there are seasonal changes: Wilbur is born in Spring, as are the other barnyard babies. They go through the lazy days of summer and into Autumn, which is both County fair time and the time for Charlotte to prepare her egg sac (and then to die). There’s another direct science connection: life-cycles. Come Spring again, Charlotte’s babies hatch. BTW, we’re always at the Fair part of the book right around when the Mountain State Fair is happening, which leads to another intrinsic tie-in: Community. The book allows us to teach about the communities of Fern’s family, the farm community, the barnyard community, while we are building our classroom community and teaching the kids about the school community (and the Four Pillars), and our broader Buncombe County community.”
Parent volunteers helped the students to create their sculptures. Once the sculptures were dry, the students in Ms. Ali’s class used tempera paint to give their creations color, while Ms. Annabell’s students used colored tissue paper. To finish the products, students used Modge Podge to help harden and shine the exterior.
This arts integrated project is an example of the kinds of hands-on learning occurring every day at ArtSpace. It capitalized on the students’ enthusiasm for their book, taught them new art techniques, and allowed them to express ideas about the characters in the book and their learning by adding expression, color and shape to their sculptures.