Everglades and Art Competitions

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Student using a viewfinder to draw the details of a butterfly native to the Florida Everglades

Art competitions are a controversial subject among teachers. Do you risk getting a student’s hopes up? Who’s judging these things anyway? And isn’t is about the process not the product?

With these thoughts in mind, I made the decision take part in a juried art exhibit called Literacy Through Art at the Hart Memorial Library. The theme of the show was Florida history and culture – and what’s more exciting about Florida than the Everglades?!

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Students adding details to their Everglade animals

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Look at that Egret!

As a class we read the book Everglades by Jean Craighead George, which has spectacular illustrations. To bring the book to life, we closed our eyes and listened to sounds of the Everglades (I also played this while they were working). Students created a sawgrass background with watercolors and then chose an animal native to the Everglades to draw. Lastly, they created a collage using their animal and thin strips of their background. The results were phenomenal and one of my first graders

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This talented first grader won Best in Show!!

won best in show!!

Gluing

Gluing “sawgrass” on top of an egret

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Our artwork at the library

Proud teacher and ecstatic students

Proud teacher and students SO ecstatic I had to hide their faces

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