Monday, June 9, 2014

Sketching at the Japanese Gardens - Teacher Lisa

We are so lucky to have Teacher Sydney sketch with our kindergarteners each month. When she started 3 years ago, we thought, "Wouldn't it be wonderful to take the children to the Japanese Gardens at the end of the school year? They could sit with their sketchbooks and sketch the things that inspire them." We decided to give it a try and it went so well that it's become our tradition.

Matching shirts are always helpful on field trips, so parents assisted in making colorful tie-dye creations a few days prior to the trip.


 On the day of the field trip (fully decked out in our tie-dye), we met at the Rose Garden playground where we spent some time exploring the gigantic play structure and having lunch together.

Then we walked up to the Japanese Gardens where we met Teacher Sydney. At that point, the children split into two groups: one to sketch and one to explore the gardens. For those of you who haven't visited with your children, a list of scavenger hunt items is available at the entrance that is very age-appropriate and lends some structure to the exploration. Our students enjoyed it very much!


Sydney began with her group by encouraging them to look and listen very carefully as they walked. She pointed out items that might be of interest for sketching.


They found a place to sit together and talked about the organization of the page and how they might want to approach their sketching.

Then they spread out and got down to business.


Inspirations included the bridge, waterfalls, pagodas, shrubs, heron sculptures, Koi, and a little frog statue hiding near the water.

When the children were finished sketching, they used water color pencils to fill in their drawings. No paint is allowed in the gardens, so we tucked sketchbooks away to finish back at school.

Once everyone had had a turn exploring and sketching, we said good bye to Sydney and headed back down to the playground to play and wait for parents.

The next day at school, children added water to their artwork and we set the sketchbooks out for display one last time.


We are so lucky to have such an accomplished artist come and work with us! And although she is now officially retired, she promises to return to work with future artists. Thank you, Teacher Sydney! We look forward to more years together!