Monday, June 04, 2007

when hard work REALLY pays off

Jesse and I decided to make murals on paper for a lesson I did on biomes with the 6th grade. The planning took us two weeks and another week to get all the materials. We used paper that has been in stock for years in school and decided to use Tempera paint because it just dries up so fast. We started the drawings, sketches, research for about a week or two but decided that if the 8th graders will help, the murals could be set up in less than a month. Each student were assigned one or two or even three species to draw on paper and we taped them in mock sheets which were about 11 inches by 33 inches. The murals were 1.5 meters by 3 meters big. The 6th and 8th graders put their heart and soul into these murals, some of them even staying late after school to help out. Creativity, cooperative learning, talent, kindness, fun, joy, sweat, grumpiness, tedious work but most of all satisfaction were garnered emotions as we finally set the murals up on the wall. KUDOS to the 6th and 8th grade students of St. Joseph School...they did a great job indeed! Thank you so much 6th and 8th graders...I am so proud of you guys.

research time

6th graders in the computer lab. every species were researched on every layer of both the ocean and rainforest biomes

the 6th graders

sketching away and staying happy

sketching full blast

8th graders on the move

Andy Lou (8th grade)

scaling up drawing from their mock mural to the big paper

the 6th graders painting

8th graders painting

1st section of the ocean biome

From the top left is the arctic region where polar bears live. A mother seal is feeding on a fish and swimming with her pups are part of the arctic waters too. A nautilus on the lower left rests behind seaweeds, fan corals and rock corals. A lobster, the sea turtle in full view, reef sponges, seastar attached on a rock,eels and a blue green crab completes this part of the biome.

2nd section of the ocean biome

This section lets you see a peeking head of a sea turtle, and above it are baby seals and killer whales that are part of the arctic water. The octopus becomes the central point of the mural. There are more sea anemones and clown fish, clams, a puffer fish, shrimp, lion fish and a seahorse. More seaweeds and fan coral playfully graze the ocean floor.

3rd section of the ocean biome

The lower part is the deep sea area where a cookie cutter shark can be found right above a sperm whale (they can go deep to feed according to Billy our 8th grade marine biologist). An angler fish, jellyfishes exhibiting bioluminescence and an underwater volcano completes the deep sea area of ocean life. Rocks to the left gives an illusion of a down slope. Above the deep sea area are sea urchins,a slug, sea anemones, clown fishes, a Venus flower basket, seaweeds, fan corals, gray sharks, stingray, bottle nose dolphins, moon jellyfish, squid, part of an octopus, a swordfish and plankton which are found in open water. Above this part of the open water are penguins found in the Antarctic waters of the south pole.

The Ocean Biome

The Emergent Layer

The very top of the rainforest where huge kapok trees grow, cacao and cocoa trees also dominate rainforests although they are not as tall as kapok trees. To the left is a Toucan and above it is a sloth that can also be found on the right side. Sloths usually stay in the canopy but hey, who did say they can't climb all the way to the emergent layer. A Harpy eagle to the left and a Macaw to the right of the mural made this rainforest biome mural captivating. And those cute night monkeys are just awesome to look at.

The Canopy

Blue Morph Butterfly and a parrot.

The Canopy

Capuchin monkey on the canopy layer of the rainforest.

The Understory

The understory will have trees trying to grow in competition with other trees to reach the canopy. Just above the red and orange frog to the left is a Pygmy Marmoset monkey. This monkey is so small that thrives blending into small branches and barks of small trees. Butterflies, snakes and a banana tree with a branchfull of banana fruits can be noticed at the background. To the very right of this mural is a rainforest crocodile that thrives in rainforest floors by the river.

The Shrub Layer

This layer will have low growing shrubs and small plants. On the left side of the mural is a pink dolphin and below it is a hummingbird. Tha amazon rainforest will also include the river and pink dolphins are part of the amazon river habitat.

The Forest Floor

The rainforest floor is the lowest layer where it is usually dark because huge taller trees get all the sunlight. For this part of the mural, the kids painted a jaguar, bromeliad flowers, hibiscus, ferns, mosses, all sorts of insects and arthropods.Brightly colored frogs also dominate this part of the mural.

The Rainforest Biome