Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Many thanks to the students of Valley Central Public School, especially Sara Miller (grade 7) and Trenten Scott (grade 8), for writing this post about their recent trip to Kakabeka Falls.

In September, Valley Central School Learning Academies students visited Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park for outdoor learning.

The main intention of the trip was to plant trees in case the emerald ash borer spreads through their forests. However, students also took the time to draw landscapes, rock formations, trees, and of course, the beautiful waterfalls.

Artistic impressions

Tree sketchTrenton Scott Trees, Grade 7

“It was quite interesting. I felt at peace with myself and with the environment.

“I heard the falls in the distance.

“It was cold, but not freezing, cold enough to bite your nose.

“I saw the forest around me, the birds singing.

“But it was also windy and the leaves were rustling.

“I think people should try it. I loved.”

— Trenten, eighth grade

Bird sketchChickadee on a Branch by Sara Miller, Grade 7

“When you’re asked to look at what’s around you and develop a drawing from it, you see details you haven’t seen before.

“I’m an artist, normally, but I don’t draw anything realistic at all. I saw so many incredible things that I didn’t know where to start.

“I had so much trouble that my friend finally told me, ‘draw that tree over there.’ So I did it and I had a great time doing it. I even put a chickadee in the tree because one landed on a branch.

“I definitely enjoyed this experience. “I would totally do it again.”

— Sara, seventh grade

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We both definitely recommend doing this wonderful exercise. You don’t even need to draw the waterfalls; your backyard is even good enough.

Get into nature. She brings a sketchbook, a pencil and an eraser, but remembers to leave plenty of time too. It’s easy to get lost for a couple of hours while you focus on the beauty of nature around you.

Drawing memories of nature

When we returned to school we were asked to relate our drawings to the Group of Seven we had been studying.

Clay model of waterfalls.Kakabeka Falls on Clay by Matthew Dahl, Grade 7

We were then encouraged to use our park sketches as a guide to create more art using a different medium. Some of us chose to paint, some of us chose to continue with pencil drawings, and some even created 3D art with clay.

Two students draw on the grass and the table.Students drawing in the park.

This was a challenge, but having had the opportunity to experience the landscape and taking the time to notice the small details helped us with the details of our artwork at school.

We hope to have the opportunity to return to the park for more artistic opportunities.

We’re trying to convince our teachers to let us create with paint while we’re at the park…and maybe even take part in some photos!

Valley Central Public Schools 7th and 8th grade students are part of an exciting new learning opportunity this year called Learning Academies. Learning Academies are designed to engage students in community-connected experiential learning opportunities and focus on community sustainability (exploration of our natural and built environment) and fine arts.

As students, we engage in documenting our learning through e-portfolios, blogs, and social media as we learn to become responsible digital citizens and 21st century learners.