When looking for a solution for a conservational problem, creative solutions are often needed. Artists often play an important role in promoting conservation by portraying the unique beauty of landscapes and wildlife. Many conservational agencies and politicians rely on the visual arts to promote a certain cause and appeal to the public on an emotional level. Cooperating with an art teacher on a certain conservational issue can be a great opportunity to show students new perspectives on a scientific problem. Additionally, it is also a way to engage students that are perhaps not very interested or gifted in science. Below you will find some ideas of how to incorporate conservation into art class.
Have students create a sculpture made from waste found in the schoolyard.
Letting students take photographs of conservation-related issues gives them a chance to explore nature outside and be creative. Possible topics could be local wildlife or biodiversity, "biodiversity through my eyes", pollution, etc. Or let students be creative and try to tell a story with their picture(s).
Students can pick endangered or threatened animals, perhaps even animals that have been discussed in class. (These can for example be displayed at school).
The Heinz Sielmann Stiftung organizes a film contest on biodiversity every year: Naturfilmpreis CAMäleon.
Creating their own art exhibit is a great way to get students engaged and excited about a conservational issue. Possibilities range from turning an art exhibition into a fund-raiser / auction to raise money for a good cause or by using the exhibit to create awareness among other students or parents about a certain issue. Art exhibits are also a way for students to combine the things they have learned in biology class with art objects:
- Exhibition on Tropical Rainforests
- Exhibit on Endangered Species
- Exhibit on a local conservation issue
Students can create art (collages, paintings, sculptures) that are related to one of the topics above and also write pamphlets, create posters or presentations with important information.