Summer SAVY 2019: Session 2, Day 2 – Ecological Expedition (Rising 3rd/4th)
Wow! Did day two go by fast! We started off the day by learning about the famous artist George Seurat and analyzing his famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Students used a visual analysis wheel to examine elements of a painting such as main idea, images, purpose, point of view, technique, artist’s background, emotion, and organization. After identifying the elements of this painting, students combined the elements to understand the painting more in depth. Complex questions such as, “How do the interactions of multiple colors through pointillism impact the image?” and “How might Seurat’s background influence the purpose for painting a variety of people?” allowed students to see how the meaning of a painting derives from the multifaceted web of these elements. After much anticipation, students used their knowledge of pointillism and complimentary colors to create their own masterpieces. Ask your child to explain how complimentary colors can impact the images that you see! Create your own visual illusion by staring at a circle of a specific color on a white sheet of paper. After 15-20 seconds you should see a ring of this color’s complimentary color around it! How cool!
After lunch we jumped back into science to think about how interactions between living and nonliving things impact the environment and help create balance within an ecosystem. Students loved playing an interactions game where they rolled dice reflecting each piece of a food chain and analyzing the interactions between the biotic and abiotic factors. Students were given the “mystery dice” with various environmental changes to understand how when an ecosystem changes, living things will adapt, die, or move to a new location.
Finally, students applied their expertise to a computer simulation on a specific ecosystem. Students completed three different trials that led them to the ultimate challenge of trying to create a balanced ecosystem for a 12 day period! During these 12 days not one producer or consumer could perish! These ecosystems were lucky our students are experienced ecologists!
I admire my students’ desire to learn and challenge their thinking! They’re asking deep questions and making connections to their previous learning! I cannot wait for another great day tomorrow!