5th Graders Explore Botany Using Art

As fifth grader William Dalton, Jr. said on one of his final projects, we have been “leaf scientists. We have practiced a lot of new vocabulary, both artistic and botanical, and developed an eye for important details. In particular, we have investigated the many qualities of leaves and learned about the process of photosynthesis. We have also learned how to read the history of a woody plant in branches and what plants do to reproduce.


All the classes stressed process over product, fostering a growth mindset to use drawing as a way to learn about the world rather than as something requiring perfection or special talent. We practiced skills of observation, questioning, creative thinking, and visual and verbal communication. Students have improved their muscle memory for using the tools of art, learning the artist’s workflow and techniques for self-focusing.