“Don’t let school get in the way of your education.”
After School Enrichments
Elements: story telling, crafts, yoga, puppets, coloring pages
Ocean Life was the first semester long after school enrichment I created for grades 1 – 3. Each session began with a chosen marine animal themed book reading. Students then got up and moved their bodies in yoga poses inspired by marine life. A culmination of our sessions involved making take-home crafts such as oceanic jars, hanging jellyfish, octopus pumpkins, and more. For comfort activities we had color pages, puppets, and extra books for individual reading.
Elements: story telling, crafts, bug collecting, bug identification, exhibit project
Insect Life was the second semester long after school enrichment I created for grades 1 – 5. Each session began with a chosen insect themed book reading. Utilizing the spring outdoors, we explored our surroundings to find hidden critters and identified them using my numerous field guides. The highlight of our sessions involved making take-home crafts such as pop up lady bugs, watercolor spider webs, and more. On rainy days we had insect themed games such as Guess Who Bug. The culmination of our semester was visiting the Fairbanks Museum to create our own collective beehive exhibit, complete with flowers and reasons why we love after school. The treasure of the excursion was watching the Stars Wars Creatures Inspired by Insects slideshow I created, getting students excited about Star Wars while learning about the real insects behind the stories.
Ancient Insect Mythology
Elements: greek mythology, native american folklore, chinese dynasty, egyptian religion, insect biology, anatomy
Ancient Insect Mythology was an hour long class that bridged the historical documentation of ancient myth and folklore surrounding four specific insects with the current understanding of their biology and behavior. We begun with the cicada and the Greek love story of Tithonus and Eos, journeyed through the butterfly beliefs of the Hopi and Blackfoot Native Americans, delved into the iconic cricket reverence held by ancient Chinese Dynasties, and traveled back to the mysticism of bees and their honey spawned from the Sun’s Eye Horus. The finale was testing students’ knowledge of the myths behind some of the characters they grew up with today.
Let It Snow
Elements: history, biopic, snowflakes, winter climate, animals
Let It Snow was an an hour long class inspired by the findings of Wilson ‘Snowflake’ Bentley and tied in Vermont winter themes such as snowflake structures, animal hibernation, temperature, extreme weather, and more. One of the highlights of the class was getting to touch pelts from Vermont animals, such as the white coat of an ermine. Tribute was paid to the science and life lead by Wilson Bentley, the man who created and documented the art of snowflake classification. With time in the end, we got hands-on and made our own snowflakes using unique folding and cutting techniques.
The Spider Enigma
Elements: biology, anatomy, ecosystems, space-science, environmentalism
The Spider Enigma was an hour long venture into the surprising and incredibly important world of spiders. With emphasis on ecosystems, food chains, and symbiotic relationships, students were taught how to respect, and maybe even enjoy these eight-legged creatures. Featuring photographs from out in the field as well as insights from innovations inspired by spider technology, the idea that spiders aren’t scary but rather exciting settled in for many students. For the finale, we created our own types of wonderous webs with white pencil on black paper.
Vermont Inventors and Ancestry
Elements: english settlement, native american genocide, fur trade, farming, mills and factories, engineers and inventors, ancestry, genealogy
Vermont Inventors and Ancestry was an hour long class built with intentions to raise awareness about Vermont’s ancestral human and landscape heritage. Introducing an uncultivated ancient Vermont, we dove right in to the quick English settlement that nearly wiped out the Native American, animal, and forest populations. As we approached the 1800’s, we take a peak at important (local) inventors who helped usher in the new age of industrialism while bringing to light their genealogical records to demonstrate the journey of bloodlines. With emphasis on building community and contributing to society, students were encouraged to think about how they may, too, one day create an idea that changes the world.