"Life at Chocorua Lake" crankie

The "Life at Chocorua Lake" crankie grew out of a field trip collaboration in May of 2019 between the K. A. Brett School in Tamworth, the Chocorua Lake Conservancy (CLC) in Chocorua, and Tin Mountain Conservation Center (TMCC) in Albany. Ms. Steward's 3rd graders had been working all year with teacher/naturalist Dexter Harding from TMCC, and Mr. Hayman's 6th grade science class were all drawing and sketching with art teacher Ms. Driscoll. Both classes came to the lake and spent a day working in small groups with Dexter, CLC Stewardship Director and naturalist Lynne Flaccus, their teachers, volunteers Chele Miller and Helen Steele, and a bunch of great parent volunteers. You'll see in the crankie what they did at the lake!


Back at school, with guidance from CLC Director of Programming & Outreach/teaching artist Juno Lamb and with their own great creativity and curiosity, they thought about how to share their experiences and learning with people who weren't at the lake with them that day through images and words. The students were amazing—patient and persevering—and the generosity and respect with which they collaborated across two grade levels and shared ownership of and responsibility for the project was lovely to see. Even as the 6th graders were writing the script, they included the 3rd graders, and the crankie included art created by each grade separately along with some that was collaborative.

Wonderful community volunteers came in to paint with the 3rd graders: Lora Colten, Hope Hutchinson, Peggy Johnson, Beth McCarthy, and Kate Thompson. Alt ed teacher Mr. Arnold and his students built the gorgeous crankie box out of repurposed wood from an old piano! (Crankies are low tech and pretty easy on the environment.) Music teacher Lisa Ferguson provided the beautiful musical accompaniment.

This is an exciting example of a STEAM project: STEM + art. The process of sharing their learning through art deepened the students' thinking and learning about the science and strengthened their observational skills, which are critical to science. And the crankie box: engineering!


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