(MURFREESBORO) Fifteen special education students at Oakland High School recently created an art display to culminate their lesson on endangered species.
As part of the lesson, the students first watched several videos on extinct species and endangered animals and marine life. Then they discussed how we can help protect these vulnerable populations. Students also looked at many examples of ocean conservation through art by other high school students from the “Science Without Boarders” website.
The display artists included 15 special education students with varying strengths and abilities making up two Special Education Core Art classes. Art instruction was given by Dr. Perry Louden and assisted by Stan Joslin, Phillips Seals, and Dr. Florence Omachonu. The display theme, “Disappearing Act” was selected by Crissy Dunn.
What viewers see in the display is of variety of endangered animals colored with the students’ preferred medium — crayons, markers, watercolors, or colored pencils. Most students colored their pieces based on an actual photo of the endangered animal they chose. Still, a few used their artistic creativity for their pieces.
Two students completed their pieces on canvas. One was of a Blue Whale in a natural ocean environment, painted in acrylic by a 12th grade student. The other was of a Beaver in colored pencil and a rainbow background in acrylic by a 12th-plus-grade student. Neither student had previous experience using acrylic paint on canvas.
Additionally, students completed two floor puzzles for the display. The one at the center of the display is titled, “Endangered Species.” The other puzzle, “Dinosaurs,” had a picture taken which was then used to create the illusion of dinosaurs disappearing.
It is hoped that this project will encourage the students to remember, as one student wrote, “If animals go extinct, we will go extinct too!”