SWEP instructors met Glenshire Elementary's fifth-grade students at the Glenshire Pond for a fun fall morning learning about wildlife in the area, to inspire and prepare them for an art collaboration with Nancy Tieken Lopez that will be completed later this school year.
Back in 2008, Nancy worked with students in the fifth grade to paint three pine wildlife poles that stood near the pond. After 13 years in the elements, the poles need to be replaced. SWEP was asked to create a lesson focusing on the wildlife around the pond to connect the students to the area and get them thinking about what they might paint on the new poles.
Students started off meeting Nancy and hearing the history of the wildlife poles and how the kids who painted the last set of poles are now in their twenties! We then played a game where the students learned some fun facts about some of the more charismatic wildlife found in the area and shared them with the class.
Armed with a clipboard and a guidebook, we walked around the lake taking an inventory of all the animals we saw on the way. There was no shortage of wildlife! We saw widgeons, Canada geese, Northern flickers, a red-tail hawk, an egret, white-crowned sparrows, blackbirds, numerous insects, and even snakes. It is amazing how much you can find with so many sets of eyes looking.
Thankfully the rain held off making it perfect fall weather. We all enjoyed being outside and learning about the animals that live in our backyard! We can't wait to see what the children come up with for the artwork on the wildlife poles.
Thank you to Nancy Tieken Lopez for involving us in this program and to Glenshire Elementary School.