Imagine Your World was designed to be a great classroom project or a project for parents and kids to do together. When teaching the series, I found the following books, supplies and field trips almost essential for kids to get out and learn then come back and record. When kids explore freely their imaginations open up. I am a believer in trying to tap into unstructured play time to feed structured time. The kids learned by doing as much as by drawing.
When I started working with my group of kids, I found several books at my local library that were great in getting the kids to learn how to use resources. We looked at the books for about a half hour, trading books every 10 minutes. The kids drew and wrote about things they were reading about in the books. After reading time they then drew on the chalkboard and shared what they learned with the group.
Some of the books include:
The World Atlas, Usborne Picture Atlas, The Human Body (resource to come), Garden Anywhere by Alys Fowler, Illinois Insects and Spiders, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Birds of North America Publisher: DK Books, Sparkle and Spin By Paul and Ann Rand, Roberto The Insect Architect, My Map Book By Sara Fanelli, Simply Organic By Jesse Ziff Cool,Thumbelina…
gridded notebooks (they must be grids), colored pencils, pencils, crayons, pencil sharpener, glue, felt of all colors- Jo Ann has a great eco-fi 30 pc. value pack for only $3.99, cardboard- which we found in the alley, string, small backpack for carrying supplies on trips- which Nicole, our other teacher made out of fabric scraps, butcher paper, table cloths (for picnics and tea parties), sidewalk chalk, any paper scraps or recycling from your bin.
Field Trips: (in Chicago)
Each week of camp covered 2 sheets from the set starting with the first two, 1. Mapping and 2. The human body. For mapping we took a field trip downtown on the train and observed things about our city. We also went to the Art Institute of Chicago we went to the Modern Wing and spent some time in the Children’s center which is free, and Millennium park to look at how our city works and things that make it special, like the Bean. It was helpful for the kids to get a good overall view of our city because the next sheets would be more focused on our neighborhood.
The next two sheets look more closely at transportation. For our field trip we went to the Bloomingdale Trail, a project in Chicago that is to be modeled after NYC’s High Line. Our kids took a look at what the possibilities are with this space and created some designs for it as well as some logos. It was the one field trip that the kids wanted to do over and over again. We also spent quite a bit of time playing at the Palmer Square’s Velveteen Rabbit park which happens to be one of my favorite playgrounds.
The Chicago Public Library also allows people to check out their community rooms so we used this space quite a bit and were then able to spread out draw along with having the resources right outside our room. The kids loved being able to go and get books that related to the sheets.
Finally, we went to the Garfield Park Conservatory here in Chicago. It is an amazing resource in the summer as well as the winter because the outdoor gardens are huge and a diverse teaching tool. We spent time walking the grounds on the trails observing how buds, and flowers look as well as different kinds of leaves on plants. We made our way around to the kids area where they have loads of old tree parts for the kids to build with. The kids played there for at least 45 minutes just enjoying working together to make a shelter for fairies.
Almost everyday we went to a park nearby so they could run around and play games together.