Salmon Unit through the Arts (3)


Objective 1:  Students will learn the salmon cycle, be able to explain it through an art project.

Objective 2:  Students will develop observation skills for the plant unit by observing and illustrating some plants with vine charcoal.  This will also allow students who are stronger in visual learning to feel significant as they show their skills in areas other than language.


Day 1:  Visiting scientist from NOAA to talk to class about salmon.


Day 2:  Field trip to release salmon as well as listen to naturalist on native plants of the Northwest.


Day 3,4, & 5:  Divide the class into three groups; rotate between three activities.


     Salmon cycle nesting origami cups

     Students learn how to fold origami cups

     Students are to use five pieces of paper, graduated sizes (8" down to 4") and fold into cups.

On each cup, they are to illustrate the salmon cycle in chronological order.

Scavenger hunt program on the computer with the

computer teacher, focusing on

v    Charcoal drawing of native plants

v    Identifying native plants

v    Students are introduced to vine charcoal and its usage.

v    They then tape two pieces of large newsprint to cover their desks.

v    Students choose a plant from our collection, tape it to the corner of there paper, observe and draw their plant by enlarging it to cover as much of the newsprint as possible, using whole arm movements.


I have 28 students, whose reading level range from 1st grade to 5th grade.  I have both bilingual as well as special ed. Students from a variety of cultures.

I used both vine charcoal and origami for this unit.  The outcome was wonderful.  The students were so surprised by my own successful drawings (because they have witnessed my lack of drawing skills all year), that it gave them confidence to try it themselves.  They were all so pleased with their results.  Here are some of their comments.  "I guess I proved myself wrong, I can draw after all" "I like this, where did you get the charcoal ?  I want to get some and do it at home"  " Wow, Sue! You can draw good"  Sue is a Special Ed. Student in my class who struggles with reading and writing as well as socializing.  She shined in all the art that I introduced in my class.


















































Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating  art will help children gain meaningful context to their lives.