Rocks and Soil (2nd grade) session 9 / Painting a Google Earth view of our School

Arts Integration Residency with Montalvo Arts Center in Campbell, CA.

medium: tempera paint and black oil pastel on paper

material: tempera paint, brushes, all media paper, black oil pastel
printed google map photos, one piece for each student

How it works
The idea is to look at the school and the surroundings with a different perspective. I talk about Google maps and the mapping of the entire world. The bird eye view is interesting because suddenly  we can see what is constructed and what is not. Where the soil is still visible and where it is not. We can see that human activity produce a lot of concrete, needed for housing and schools, and roads.

1. I prepared 130 half letter size prints. One for each students (there are 6 classes of 2nd graders with approximately 22 students per class). This is the only piece on which the students from the 6 classes work together. All the photos are on the floor, and I give them to the students row by row, to avoid any confusion.
The students look at the satellite photo of their school, an unusual vision. They can see where it is built and where one can still see the soil. So there are pretty much three colors:  the grey of the constructions, the green of the trees and lawns, and the brown of the bare soil. With a photo like this we can see that the area is very constructed. It is interesting to note that all the material necessary for the construction comes from Earth.

2. The students study the main lines from the photos, trace them with a pencil, then with a black oil pastel and then paint.

3. Group discussion.