Earlier in the month, youthLEADarts conducted an online arts workshop for a group of homeschooled 5-8 year old students from Quebec. Roy Mulder and Shelley MacDonald provided initial inspiration with photos. The whale facts they shared covered some physical attributes of whales like how some have teeth and others have baleen to allow them to feed on specific prey. The students learned about some of the threats to whales such as ship strikes and entanglement in ghost nets.
Deirdre Potash provided arts instruction that taught the students how to create dioramas of whales in their environment. These twenty five students took ACTION and created some beautiful artwork that is being sent to shipping companies and fishing groups asking for them to be whale aware. Using each of the LEAD values of Listen, Empathize, Act and Drive, the students learned how to apply their artistic talents to help improve the plight of the whales.
The students were extremely curious as to how the whales live. While doing their artwork we provided answers to their questions about the whales. We covered everything from what whales weigh to whether or not whales eat sharks. It was clear that they were enjoying creating their artwork and they had a tremendous curiosity about the whales.
Special thanks go to our funders at youthLEADarts. The workshop was approved by ELAN (English Language Arts Network), and AIG (Artists Inspire Grants).
The completed artwork, along with slogans students wrote that capture their concerns and intentions regarding the whales is being photographed and sent to shipping companies, cruise lines, and commercial fishers as a plea by youth to affect positive change.