These drawings represent student’s investigations of habitat loss, plastics in the oceans, and our interdependent relationship to plants and animals. In Drama World, the children donned the mantle of inventors. In role, as originators, creators, designers, and makers, they imagine ways and means to solve some problems facing land animals, marine creatures, forests, and oceans.
They drew their ideas. Then their drawings were enlarged and cut into stencils, in the shape of hexagrams. Each student wrote a caption to further explain the meaning of their work. Seven hexagrams were arranged to fit together and, to everyone’s delight, formed the shape of a beehive. The stencils were then laid down on sidewalks and sprayed with rain paint, an invisible solution when dry. But when wet, like magic, rainwork suddenly appeared.
The five Beehive Puzzle installations held an embedded clue that, when put together, made a word describing the beehive’s theme. Folks walking along the sidewalks stopped, looked, and tried to solve the puzzle.
Morgan Mahana and Jason Davies digitized the drawings into stencils. The stencils were laser cut by Jason Davies in collaboration with Bellingham Makerspace.
Three 4th-graders, self-described as: The Professional Level Director, the Precision Editor, and the Hot Shot Writer quickly teamed up to write, direct and edit a video about Drama World. They titled it, Caring for Our Planet. They had an hour. They also had an advisor, Lauren McClanahan, director of the Bellingham Youth Media Project, should they want any advice from an adult. They didn’t. Respectfully. They said they had it. And they did.
When they returned to their classroom, their teacher asked if they needed anything. Nope, they replied. “It’s done.” And so, it was. Madeline Galante wrote in a flash, Errol Noet selected the images taken by a host of students throughout the semester, and Sophia Dionne directed the composition of writing and photographs in four chapters: Environmental Detectives, Interviewing the Locals, Magic Words, and Invention Works! Five months of once weekly From a Child’s Point of View sessions are captured in four minutes and eight seconds. “What will you invent to help solve our problems?” Owl and Salmon had asked. To see the story of twenty-five students responding to Owl and Salmon’s plea for help click on the video below.
Madeline Galante, the self-described Hot Shot Writer of the 4th-graders’ video “Drama World”, wrote this poem with lightening speed as she wrote the video’s narrative.
In fact, this poem was part of the narrative. But an adult in the room worried that Madeline’s POV would be lost as spoken word. So, with Madeline’s permission, it was pulled out of the video so it could be presented for all to read on this sign.
The sign is located on the ASB Trail on the Bellingham Waterfront.